Islamic financing eyed for Maranaos affected by clashes

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 12 July) – The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) said it is planning to propose for institutionalization of an Islamic financing scheme that will support the rehabilitation and recovery of the residents affected by the ongoing clash between government forces and the ISIS-inspired Maute Group in Marawi City.

Romeo Montenegro, director for Investment Promotion, International Relations and Public Affairs of MinDA, told “Wednesdays’ at Habi at Kape” that they want a financial scheme that is sensitive to the culture of the Maranaos once the rehabilitation program for Marawi starts.

“Of course, there are elements in Islamic financing that is very much peculiar and specific to the Muslim culture, something that can work well based on culture and practices,” he said.

He added, for example, that Islamic financial institutions offer loans without interests.

Montenegro said they also are calling for the amendment of Republic Act 6848, otherwise known as the Charter of Al-Amanah Bank Islamic Investment Bank of the Philippines, to enable the process of coming up with a specific financial scheme for Marawi residents.

He added that a bill amending such legislation authored by Sen. Bam Aquino is still pending at the committee level in the Senate.

“Once it gets legislated and amended, we now have a specific mechanism to fully implement Islamic finance which is very viable for reconstruction efforts in Marawi because many other entities in the Middle East would want to channel more effectively their support via Islamic financial institutions,” the MinDA official said.

He said the Islamic bank can also be a channel to receive the financial support coming from different groups in the Middle East to support rehabilitation efforts in Marawi.

Montenegro said they have yet to identify how much would the bank receive initially as a seed funding for Marawi residents, upon completion of the assessment currently undertaken by the government.

“We already started meetings, putting forward indicative activities and programs with parallel costing,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)