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The Islamic Banking and Finance (IBF) Core Team of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas was named regional winner of the Presidential Lingkod Bayan Group Award for their work in developing Islamic finance in the country. The group’s efforts have strengthened stakeholder engagement and inter-agency cooperation, implemented key regulations and built capacities to support the Islamic Banking Law.
The Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award is given to public servants who have demonstrated exceptional behavior and provided outstanding contributions to the nation.
BSP Governor Eli M. Remolona, Jr. and the IBF Core Team received the citation from Civil Service Commission (CSC) National Capital Region Regional Director Victoria F. Esber on 25 September 2023 at the BSP Manila Head Office in a ceremony conducted under the CSC’s 2023 Search for Outstanding Government Workers.
The BSP’s IBF Core Team is headed by Assistant Governor Arifa A. Ala and includes as members Deputy Director Noel P. Tianela, Deputy Director Maria Luisa O. Nieva, Manager Anna Lisa B. Atienza, and Bank Officer V Winnie Claire L. Jamoner-Carbonel.
The IBF Core Team played a major role in the enactment and prompt implementation of the Islamic Banking Law. This led to the establishment of a clear legal framework for Islamic banking and finance as well as the creation of an enabling regulatory environment, where Islamic banks can viably operate on a level playing field alongside conventional banks.
Recognizing that Islamic finance is a whole-of-government undertaking, the IBF Core Team steered the creation of the 12-member Islamic Finance Coordination Forum tasked to implement the Islamic Banking Law. This facilitated a more efficient engagement, collaboration, and harmonization of key priorities and efforts on Islamic finance.
The working group is led by the BSP and composed of the Bureau of the Treasury, Insurance Commission, Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Bangsamoro Government, National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Trade and Industry, Financial Reporting Standards Council, Auditing and Assurance Standards Council, and Asian Development Bank.
The IBF Core Team also initiated the establishment of the BSP’s Islamic Banking Supervision Group, which is focused on the development of Islamic banking frameworks and policies. The team also spearheaded capacity building programs for stakeholders from the public and private sectors.
Islamic banking refers to a banking business that has objectives and operations that do not involve interest (riba) as prohibited under Islamic laws and that conducts its business in accordance with the principles of the Shari’ah.
The Islamic Banking Law fosters greater financial inclusion among underserved Filipinos, both Muslims and non-Muslims, by providing quality banking products and services. It expands the funding base for small- and medium-sized enterprises, and opens the stage for Islamic banking players who wish to broaden their operations in the country.###