By Antonio Colina IV
DAVAO CITY – The government plans to tap Islamic financing called “Sukuk” to fund the big-ticket projects in Mindanao through the state-owned Al Amanah Islamic Bank, an official of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) said.
MinDA executive deputy director Romeo Montenegro said they requested President Rodrigo R. Duterte to direct his economic managers to study the viability of using the Sukuk funds to build infrastructures and other private-led projects in Mindanao.
“The issuance of Sukuk funds, a funding mechanism employing Islamic finance where that’s the basis by which many funding institutions like banks in Middle East or other Islamic countries could course through funding for a particular project,” he added.
A proposed bill to revitalize the country’s Islamic bank has been pushed in Congress in order to be able to access this kind of financing scheme because “you need an Islamic finance-abled banking institution” through which the external funds, including the government’s, would be channeled for the government projects in Mindanao.
“We would like to strengthen our proposal for the government to eventually look at employing Islamic finance for many projects in Mindanao,” he said.
One of the biggest Sukuk funds issuer in the world is Malaysia and Petronas Towers in Malaysia and Hong Kong International Airport are among iconic infrastructures constructed with Sukuk, according to Montenegro.