Banks to get incentives to invest in ARMM

  • April 18, 2017

COTABATO CITY, April 18, (PIA)--  Banks and  non-bank  financial institutions and facilities – including Islamic  banks and  financing establishments that invest  in the Autonomous Region in Muslim  Mindanao (ARMM) can  avail of incentives,  ARMM’s Regional Board of Investments (RBOI).


Lawyer  Ishak Mastura,  chairman of  RBOI-ARMM  said giving incentives to this sector could encourage conventional banks, other financial institutions like Islamic financing to set-up their business operations in the region and may address the problem of ARMM being severely underserviced by the financial sector. 


Citing data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas,  Mastura  noted that only 20 banks are  currently  operating in ARMM and that  about 93 percent of municipalities in the region do not have banking presence, representing the  highest presence of unbanked  regions  in the country.


Mastura emphasized that there is a big opportunity for the banking and finance sector to develop new markets in the region because of the demand for their services.


This is the reason why RBOI included banking and non-bank institutions in the ARMM List of the 2017-2019 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP), he  added, noting further that this is significant move to address the call of various sectors such as the existing investors in the region, local and foreign, local business community, religious groups advocating for Islamic financing and the latest is the Social Security System (SSS) to put up bank branches to provide monetary and banking services to the constituents in ARMM.


SSS  is concerned over the lack of banking facilities in ARMM that hamper their collection and disbursement activities through banks.


Granting  of incentives  banks and non-bank  financial institutions that are based or  have its  principal  base of business in the ARMM is allowed under the  Republic Act 9054 or the Expanded ARMM Organic  Act


Since 2012, RBOI has registered a total of P14.621 billion worth of investments and recorded total jobs generated of 12,231.


The increasing trend of investments in the region requires more banks to finance new and expanding projects for both foreign and domestic investments.


“This will also allow individual borrowers to engage in businesses through credit facilities, assist personal needs like remittances of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). The presence of more banks can attract   investments in the region especially now that the ASEAN economic integration is in full swing and we need banks to be competitive,”Mastura said.


Meanwhile, ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman said that aside from providing incentives to the financial sector, an advocacy on financial literacy in the ARMM is also important to encourage more depositors to save their money in the bank and maximize the use of banks and financial institutions to ensure the flow of money and support for a robust regional economy.  (DEDoguiles-PIA 12 with report from ARMM-RBOI)



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