Monday, 28 February 2011 14:13
The government is keen on improving the lives of Filipino Muslims and efforts on this are expected to have more meaningful results as the government starts talks with the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB).
Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said a representative from the IsDB was present during the government and World Bank-initiated Philippine Development Forum (PDF) in Pasay City Saturday.
He said the country is not a member of IsDB, thus, “I am pleased to see a representative.”
“He told me that they have a program for non-member countries and they’re coming bank in April to meet with me to talk about what we can do together,” he said in a briefing after the one-day forum.
Purisima said one of the program they are looking at this partnership is the institution of microfinance programs in Mindanao.
“That is something we can use in Muslim Mindanao that’s why I support it. That area really needs help in terms of financing support,” he said.
The Finance chief said they can also tap the IsDB on how the government can effectively operationalize the Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank of the Philippines (AAIIBP).
AAIIBP is the only Islamic bank in the country that has total assets of P525.43 million, deposit liabilities of P293.75 million and net worth of P231.68 million.
It currently has 74 employees, 55 percent of whom are Muslims while the remaining 55 percent are non-practicing Muslims.
It is under full control of the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), which bought it in 2008.
“We have not discussed anything in detail except that I am expressing my pleasure of seeing them in the conference,” Purisima added.
By Joann Villanueva -PNA
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