NCMF bats for approval of Islamic banking bill

DAVAO CITY -- The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos is pushing for the approval by President Rodrigo R. Duterte of Enrolled Bill 8281, which provides for the regulation and organization of Islamic banks in the country.

Dimapuno Datu Ramos Jr., director of the NCMF's Bureau of External Relations, said NCMF Secretary Saidamen Pangarungan had recently met with officials of the Bangko Sentral and the Asian Development Bank in a bid to push for the bill's approval.

Last month, the Senate passed the bill, which originated from the House of Representatives, with 20 affirmative votes.

Under the measure, the legal and regulatory framework of Islamic banks would be supervised by the BSP and the Monetary Board. The BSP will also issue the implementing rules and regulations.

“This bill seeks to put in place and establish a sound legal and regulatory framework for the development of Islamic Banks in the country. The aim is to invite foreign Islamic Banks to operate in the Philippines, therefore increasing the business and investment opportunities for Muslim Filipinos. It will also encourage existing commercial banks in the Philippines to provide windows for the operation of Islamic banking in their respective financial institutions,” Datu Ramos said, quoting Pangarungan.

He said the NCMF sees the approval of the bill as a chance for employment by the more than 800 Shariah lawyers in the country. They could be tapped to assist companies in providing Islamic banking.

“Secretary Pangarungan is pushing for the immediate approval of this bill, as this will provide the much-needed boost and stability in the Muslim Filipino economic structure, as well as create jobs for Shariah lawyers,” Datu Ramos said.

He said the NCMF also sees the measure as a form of encouragement to Muslim Filipinos “to broaden their options in terms of banking and investment in the Philippines.” (PNA)

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