THE Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) is currently pushing to fast track the institutionalization of the Islamic Financing Mechanism.
Minda assistant secretary Romeo Montenegro said they are proposing that the Islamic Finance Bill or the Al Amanah Bank Law be amended in order to have specific mechanisms for full implementation of the Islamic Finance Mechanism.
“There are specific peculiarities of Islamic Finance than the conventional financing transactions that we are having. Of course there are elements that are specific to the Muslim culture and therefore it is something that can work well based on their culture and practices. It is the kind of finance processes that do not impose interests. That is a major difference from all the other available conventional financing transactions that we have today,” said Montenegro adding that once approved, the mechanism would also provide loan services to Maranaos.
He added the bill in the Senate, which was authored by Senator Bam Aquino, is already in the committee level and are already waiting for the same version to be filed in the House of Representatives.
Montenegro said they wish to have the Islamic Financing Mechanism to pilot at Marawi to help with the reconstruction efforts to be done after the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and Task Force are done with the assessment. Currently, assessment is still ongoing while some areas are still under war zone.
The Islamic Finance Mechanism is also targeted to be a channel for the Middle Eastern countries willing to shell out financial support for the victims of the Marawi siege.
“It is very much viable in our reconstruction efforts in Marawi considering that many other entities such as the Middle East countries and donors would want to channel more effectively their assistance and financing support via the Islamic Finance Mechanism,” he said.
Montenegro added the finance mechanism will also help in the reconstruction efforts of the government in Marawi, as reconstruction would not solely involve erecting back buildings and establishments but to weave back the history and culture of Marawi that was destroyed by the war.
“It is important to note that Maranaos are really known to be entrepreneurs and therefore it is important that a major element in the entire reconstruction effort is making sure that it is able to reconstruct and bring back the entrepreneurial dynamism of the Maranao people,” said Montenegro.