by Maharlika Alonto - Head, Accounting Department

Aiming to enhance its islamic banking operations, the Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank of the Philippines (AAIIBP) recently concluded its week-long training on Islamic Banking and Finance last July 26 to 29, 2011. Organized by the Association of Development Financial Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP), attendance was not only limited to the AAIIBP personnel, as representatives from the government regulatory agencies such as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Department of Finance (DOF) and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) were also present.

The training was led by well-known Asian practitioners of Islamic banking and finance. Professor Ashraf bin Md. Hashim, Head of the International Shariah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) talked about islamic economics and finance, and the introduction to Takaful (Islamic Insurance) and Sukuk (Islamic Bonds). Followed by Ms. Lee How Fen, Director - Lee Consultancy in Singapore, participants were taught on the rudiments of Islamic Commercial Law, and key documentary and structuring issues for Islamic financial products. Her module also discussed concerns on regulation, supervision and corporate governance in conformity with Shariah. Lastly, two bankers from Malaysia- Mr. Ahmad Nazir Che Yen, Senior Vice President - Islamic Treasury Group of CIMB Investment Bank, and Mr. Mohd Nizam Mohamad, Head - Governance and Compliance of AmIslamic Bank Berhad - extensively discussed mechanisms of operations for Islamic banking, treasury and capital market, as well as financial accounting for Islamic Banks. AAIIBP management exchanged ideas and questions throughout the seminar that are crucial to boosting the Bank's Islamic banking operations. The presence of government regulatory agencies made the event cohesive as issues between agencies and the Bank were widely communicated. Attended by forty-seven personnel from AAIIBP, including two members of its board of directors, the seminar was the biggest training program of the Bank to date.

A halfday executive session was also held last July 28, 2011 and attended by five members of the Board, a Sharia'h advisor and senior officers of DBP.

The newly-refurbished Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank of the Philippines (AAIIBP) Davao Branch shall be formally re-launched to the public in its inauguration ceremony on April 15, 2011. The occasion will be graced by its Chairman/CEO Enrique D. Bautista Jr., top officials and members of the Board of the bank, DBP officers and important guests from the government agencies, Muslim communities and the business sector.

AAIIBP, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), is re-branded as the Amanah Islamic Bank. The DBP acquired 99.9% ownership of AAIIBP in 2008. Subsequently, a 5-yr rehabilitation program was implemented. Included in the program is the opening up of new branches not only in Mindanao but in other parts of the country as well. It seeks to implement professionalized Islamic banking in the Philippines by importing technical expertise on Islamic models from countries like Malaysia & Saudi Arabia, in close coordination with the BSP and other regulating government agencies. It aims to provide alternative banking services to the public in response to the emerging global Islamic markets.

Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank of the Philippines (AAIIBP), a subsidiary of state-run Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), inaugurated its newly refurbished Zamboanga branch on November 12, 2010 at its new location at PHIDCO Building Veterans Avenue, Zamboanga City.

Zamboanga City Mayor Celso L. Lobregat honored the event as inauguration guest speaker. Joining the list of guest are Zamboanga City First District Congresswoman Beng Climaco Salazar and Philippine Air Force General Lorenzo R. Sumicad, Wing Commander of Edwin Andrews Air Base (EAAB). Chairman and CEO Enrique D. Bautista, Jr. expressed his deep appreciation to all who graced the occasion. AAIIBP directors Nabil Tan and Abdul Y. Hadjisalam also joined the Chairman in inaugurating the AAIIBP Zamboanga branch.

The year 2010 ended on a high note for the Amanah Islamic Bank Jolo Branch as it held its inauguration on the 16th of December at its new location at Honeybee Building, Serantes Street, Jolo, Sulu.

The momentous occasion signified a new beginning for Islamic Banking in Sulu, which is a predominantly Muslim province in the Southern part of the country. It also paved the way to a gathering of seasoned Bank Executives and Directors of Amanah Islamic Bank and Development Bank of the Philippines as the occasion was graced by Mr. Enrique D. Bautista, Jr., Chairman and CEO, AVP Jose Q. Villano, Head, Branch Banking Services Department, Atty. Nabil A. Tan, Director and Samira Gutoc, Director. It also drew strong support from local executives with the presence of Provincial Administrator Erwin Tan, who represented the Hon. Governor Abdusakur M. Tan and Vice Mayor Edsir Q. Tan. This massive show of support from the internal and external stakeholders of the bank is an indication that the rehabilitation program of Amanah Bank is working to its optimum.  The symbolic cutting of the Inaugural ribbon was done by the Honorable Erwin Tan and Honorable Edsir Q. Tan while the markers were unveiled by Chairman Bautista, AVP Villano, and Director Tan.

Source: Business Adzone (General Santos-based magazine) September 2010 Issue

The Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank of the Philippines (AAIIBP) recently inaugurated its General Santos Branch at JMP Building, South Osmeña St., General Santos City. The occasion was well-attended by important guests from the business sector and government agencies. Top officials of the bank also graced the occasion.

Instead of the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon, untying of malong was the main event with no less than the Hon. City Mayor Darlene Magnolia Antonino-Custodio and singer-actress Dionisia Pacquiao leading the ceremony. This was signaled by the banging of the agong. Assisting the ladies were SEVP Armando O. Samia, Chairman and CEO of AAIIBP and Mr. Michael Bren Evangelio, Chief of Staff, Congressional District of Sarangani Province who stood in lieu of Cong. Emmanuel Pacquiao.

Aside from Chairman Samia of AAIIBP, SVP Jose Gonzaga, Jr., Head of Team Branches and Dir. Samira Gutoc-Tomawis, of AAIIBP Board were also present along with officers from the Makati Executive Office. Chairman Samia also unveiled the Marker of the bank's Mission and Vision Statement and delivered his inspirational message. He stressed that Amanah Islamic Bank is now actively introducing Islamic financing in the country where the focus is on the development of Mindanao and its people.