COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao—Business leaders and stakeholders of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and Central Mindanao have endorsed the establishment of an Islamic banking system, specifically one that prohibits the charging of high interest rates, a Basilan lawmaker said.
The proposal was indicated in House Bill No.5989 filed by Basilan Pary-list Rep. Sitti Djalia Turabin Hataman which was supported by Salem Glandour of Maybank Islamic Berhad in Malaysia and Amanah Islamic Bank executive Isdrro Sobrecarey.
Both businessmen cited the advantages of an Islamic banking system to operate in the Southern Philippines.
Hataman, wife of ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman, stressed that under her proposed Islamic banking law, “banks do not rely on high interest rates to sustain operation but push for moderate to socialized interest charge.”
The Basilan legislator said that based on Islam, the banking system prohibits usury or taking high interest on cash loans and cater mostly on the poor and moneyed traders.
Glandour explained that “while Islamic banking system offers low interest rates, it has no conflict with conventional and commercial banks.”
Hataman hailed the business leaders’ warm reception of her proposal and pledged to continue dialogues through roundtable discussions with other stakeholders.