2011 MCPI Conference highlights collaboration for responsible microfinance

Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines-Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (RBAP-MABS) Program helped facilitate two sessions of the 2011 Microfinance Council of the Philippines Inc. (MCPI) Conference last July 28-29 at the Hyatt Hotel Manila. The conference themed, “Making a Difference: Multi-Stakeholder Action towards Responsible Microfinance” aims to promote responsible financial products and practices while addressing global pressing issues and challenges to microfinance.

On the first day of the conference, RBAP-MABS Chief of Party John V. Owens facilitated a session on Avoiding Over-indebtedness with Ms. Mila Bunker, President of Ahon Sa Hirap Inc. (ASHI) and Chairperson of MCPI. The session …

Call for Nominations: Citi Microentrepreneur of the Year (MOTY) Awards

Dear Friends and Partners,

Citi Philippines, the Microfinance Council of the Philippines Inc., and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas are conducting the ninth run of the Citi Microentrepreneur of the Year (MOTY) Awards, a nationwide search for outstanding Filipino microentrepreneurs. The awards program aims to elevate awareness of and provide support for microfinance by recognizing outstanding microentrepreneurs.

There are two awards categories: the Masikap Award and the Maunlad Award. The Masikap Award is open to microentrepreneurs who successfully started a business that is now a reliable source of income for the family. The Maunlad Award, on the other hand, is …

RBAP-MABS & PLIA hold workshop on performance monitoring of microinsurance for life insurance companies

On May 25, RBAP-MABS, with support from USAID/Philippines and the Philippine Life Insurance Association (PLIA), jointly conducted a microinsurance performance monitoring forum for 43 representatives from 25 of the association’s member companies. The main resource person for the activity was RBAP-MABS Microinsurance Consultant and internationally known expert, Mr. Michael McCord.

The activity built on the significant developments in regulations for microinsurance providers, especially Insurance Memo Circular 05-2011 on the Performance Standards for Microinsurance providers released by the Insurance Commission in January 2011. Core to the discussion was the importance of monitoring financial performance indicators in assessing the sustained viability of …

RBAP-MABS conducts microinsurance workshop for rural banks

The Rural Bankers Research and Development Foundation, Inc. (RBRDFI) and the RBAP-MABS program supported by USAID/Philippines organized a half-day microinsurance workshop for rural banks on May 27. The workshop was primarily aimed at further enhancing the knowledge and capability of rural banks as microinsurance agents and brokers.

Facilitated by RBAP-MABS Microinsurance Consultant Michael McCord, the event was participated in by nine representatives from eight rural banks trained by RBAP in Basic Microinsurance.  Also in attendance were members of the RBAP-MABS team and two members from the RBRDFI team for microinsurance.

Mr. McCord engaged the participants in a course of simulation …

RBAP-MABS trains another set of rural banks to offer Housing Microfinance services

More rural banks are now preparing to offer housing microfinance (HMF) services as RBAP-MABS trains its third batch of bankers on market research for the HMF loan product. Twenty-five (25) participants from 9 rural banks interested in developing housing microfinance services for their clients attended the training held on August 25-27 in Mallig, Isabela.

Held as a collaborative effort of the USAID-supported RBAP-MABS Program and its certified service providers, Punla sa Tao Foundation and Microfinance Innovation Center for Resource and Alternatives (MICRA), the training was initiated by Ms. Praxedes Ignacio, President of the Northeast Luzon Microfinance Council.

The rural banks …

Bangko Mabuhay and GCASH serve the mobile money community of Cavite

Bangko Mabuhay together with G-Xchange Inc. (GXI), a wholly-owned mobile commerce subsidiary of Globe Telecom, brings the benefits of mobile money and convenient remittance pay-out options in Cavite.

Using the GCASH platform, its branches serve as cash-in and cash-out facilities for customers who would like to take advantage of the convenience that mobile money transfer offers. Bangko Mabuhay is also an active pay-out outlet for GCASH REMIT, cash pick-up remittance service under GXI.

Bangko Mabuhay, registered as Rural Bank of Tanza (Cavite), Inc., has over P900M in assets serving thousands of clients in the province.…

Cantilan Bank Celebrates 30 Years of Progressive and Excellent Community Banking Services

More than 500 attendees packed into a basketball gymnasium in Cantilan’s town square to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Cantilan Bank. The gala highlighted the banks remarkable growth over the past three decades and underscored the important role microfinance services played in their success.

MABS started working with Cantilan Bank 11 years ago, when it had just three branches and 35 employees. Now, the bank is 260 employees strong with 12 branches across Surigao. The bank-wide loan portfolio grew from around P50M to P652M. The number of microfinance borrowers is 39% of Cantilan’s total borrowers with a client base …

GCASH and Guagua Rural Bank Formalize Partnership

Guagua Rural Bank (GR Bank) officially joins the Philippine mobile phone banking community as it formalized its partnership with G-Xchange Inc. in utilizing the GCASH platform to facilitate its mobile phone banking services (MPBS).

Developed under the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines-Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (RBAP-MABS) program, MPBS involves the use of mobile phones in performing bank transactions such as deposits, withdrawals, remittances and loan payments, among others.

Facilitated by the USAID-supported RBAP-MABS program, GR Bank signed a memorandum of agreement with G-XChange, Inc., Globe Telecom’s mobile commerce subsidiary, on February 18 during the Central Luzon Federation of …

Central Bank of Afghanistan takes a look at the Philippine Mobile Phone Banking Environment

Officials from the Central Bank of Afghanistan visited the Philippines on January 12-15 to study the mobile phone banking offered by rural banks, meet with mobile money operators, and understand the regulations about mobile money and mobile phone banking services in the Philippines.

In coordination with the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) and the Rural Bankers Research and Development Foundation Inc. (RBRDFI), the study tour included visits to RBAP-MABS, the Central Bank of the Philippines (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas / BSP), Smart Communications, G-Xchange Inc., and GM Bank, a MABS participating bank based in Nueva Ecija.

The Afghan representatives were …

MABS holds Loan Administration and Management Training for RB Camalig

MABS conducted a Refresher Training Course on Loan Administration and Management for the Rural Bank of Camalig on August 4 – 7, 2009 in Legaspi, Albay. Fifteen officers and staff members attended the training, including the bank’s chief executive officer (CEO) and chief operating officer (COO). They were trained on preparation and analysis of CIBI and cash flow reports, loan review and approval by the credit committee, understanding management information system (MIS) reports, delinquency management, and product and staff performance monitoring. Alan Orogo of MABS Service Provider, Punla sa Tao Foundation, facilitated the training, along with MABS Deputy Chief of …