20 October 2017 | news release


Designate Al Amanah, the PH’s lone Islamic bank as fund raiser – Rep. Siao

The rehabilitation of the war-torn city of Marawi can be funded through issuance of “Islamic bonds” through our lone Islamic bank Al Amanah Islamic Investment Bank of the Philippines (Al Amanah).

As an investor myself and Member of the House Committee on Mindanao Affairs, I recommend to government that it work together with Al Amanah in developing a so-called “sukuk” or Islamic financial certificates that comply with sharia laws. The Department of Finance through the Bureau of Treasury shall be the issuer and Al Amanah shall be the marketer.

I recommend also that the government designate Al Amanah as fund raiser for the Marawi reconstruction pursuant to powers vested on it by Republic Act 6848.

Issuance of sukuk will enable us to tap funds from the 57-member countries of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Recently, Qatar Investment Authority announced that it has at least $320 billion worth of excess funds which may be used for energy projects in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.

Chair and chief executive officer of Al Amanah Alex Bangola said that Philippines can access those billions of dollars of funds from Qatar through issuance of sukuk. “Sukuk can be compared with government bonds, only that these financial papers do not follow the Western banking concept of riba or interest. Under Islamic banking, a holder of a sukuk means he or she holds “ownership” in the investment “and the bank becomes a business partner,” Bangola was quoted explaining.

I am aware of DoF’s plan to issue “Marawi bonds” on January 2018. I support that move and I believe that can be complemented by the issuance of sukuk that I am suggesting in order to give our Muslim allies throughout the world an opportunity to help rebuild the Islamic trading city of Marawi.

However, the P30 billion worth of debt securities that DoF proposes might just be not enough compared with the magnitude of work that has to be done.

The P30 billion is enough only for some key structures but insufficient to implement a master plan not just for Marawi but also the surrounding towns, the Lake Lanao area, and to integrate them with Mindanao and the Visayas.

We do not want band aid solutions. We want a total solution to the economic, social, and political woes that are root causes of the discontent in Marawi and western Mindanao.

Since my district Iligan City is just 30-minutes away from Marawi, there is a synergy between the two cities. What happens to Marawi greatly affects us too. (END)


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