A Dream Home Come True

After getting married in 2001, Mr. Joel and Mrs. Erlyn Espinosa built their small nipa hut in Balasan, Iloilo to start a family. Mr. Joel is a son of a small palay farmer and makes a living as a carpenter for house construction. Years of labor as a carpenter are now showing in his slouched posture. Mr. Joel’s nine siblings somehow managed to live auspicious lives despite poor family background. Three of his brothers work as ship crew, while a sister married up and now settles in another province. Meanwhile, his other sisters managed to migrate to Canada to escape …

The Healing Touch

With four children to support and without a stable income, it was an everyday struggle to make ends meet for Mr. Danelito Castro and his wife. They were so hard-pressed that they could hardly pay basic monthly bills that amounted to a few hundred pesos (less than US$10). Faced with these circumstances, Mr. Castro set his mind on establishing a small business – one that he could immediately start with minimal capital. The couple decided to manufacture herbal products, since they both had extensive knowledge and background on the medicinal properties of trees. To differentiate their product from the wide …

The Right Recipe for Success

MEET FAIR BANK CLIENT: Carina Gonato

Back in 2009, Carina Gonato was a simple housewife who tried to make ends meet by selling consigned chicken lumpia around her neighbourhood. Upon the suggestion of her neighbours and recognizing that she could potentially earn more, she decided to make and sell her own chicken lumpia. It took her three months to perfect the recipe. After numerous taste tests, gathering her neighbors’ feedback, and tweaking the recipe, she finally gave it a go initially selling her lumpia inside the Mactan Export Processing Zone compound. Through word of mouth, her lumpia gained popularity and …

The Power of Savings – Rural Miners Open their First Savings Accounts

From Butuan City going north towards Surigao Norte is the town of Tubod, where mining has become a major source of employment to local residents and those in the outlying towns. Hired by labor sub-contractors of the mining company there, the number of miner-laborers peaks during the dry season and declines during the rainy season. The mining site is about five kilometers away from the Cantilan Bank Tubod Branch, which started its operations in 2005.

As is the practice in the mining industry, mining companies operating in Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur outsource their labor requirements to sub-contractors. …

Text-A-Withdrawal Makes Access to Mobile Money Easier

Mr. Archiebald “Archie” Beldad owns a pharmacy located in the town center of Cantilan, Surigao del Sur located in rural northeastern Mindanao. As a registered client of Cantilan Bank, a participating bank under the Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (MABS) Program, Archie began using GCASH for business in March 2007. He purchases and sells GCASH in small amounts and accepts GCASH as payment for his goods. He has a good credit record with the bank where he has been maintaining a deposit account for several years. Archie also uses the convenience of the Text-A-Withdrawal facility to withdraw from his deposit …

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 …

Mobile phone banking merchant partners help ease banking in Surigao

A growing number of store owners are collaborating with rural banks and connecting to the GCASH network from Cantilan to Butuan City and across the region. These store owners are providing cash-in and cash-out services to support mobile phone banking services as well as mobile money transfer in these areas.

The partnership between RBAP-MABS and G-XChange, Inc. (GXI), Globe Telecom’s wholly owned subsidiary, has helped develop and implement mobile phone banking applications and m-commerce services for rural banks and their clients.  Based on a secure GCASH menu, mobile phone banking clients of accredited rural banks can receive loans, make payments …

Accounts of Housing Microfinance Clients

During a visit to Cantilan Bank, a team of MABS employees had the opportunity to observe first-hand how housing microfinance loans have impacted the bank’s clients.  Many microfinance clients own their homes, and often have a need to make incremental repairs or improvements using whatever funds they may have saved over time if they have no access to credit.   Housing microfinance loans generally mirror the way low-income households build or improve their homes in the countryside, which follow a progressive building approach.  Clients often build a foundation then the walls, then add roofing, and include water, sanitation, and electricity, step-by-step. …

Spreading her peanut butter’s sweet success

MEET OUR CLIENT: Jennilyn Antonio

Jennilyn Antonio became a MABS client in 2004 when she applied for a micro loan with MABS participating bank Rural Bank of Mabitac (RB Mabitac) in Cabuyao, Laguna. Her first loan of Php 30,000 was used to buy a peanut grinder for her startup business of homemade peanut butter. Later on, her succeeding loans of Php 30,000 (second), Php 50,000 (third to sixth), and Php 100,000 (seventh) were all approved and repaid 100% on time. All her loans were invested in their business, which saw significant results.

By 2004, her product and brand Ehje’s Peanut …

A downpour of blessings from dry goods retailing

MEET OUR CLIENT: Anunciacion Santillan

In 1999, Anunciacion Santillan used a mere folding bed along the sidewalk as display area for the dry goods she sold. Back then, life was not easy – she and her husband worked hard but still earned barely enough for their family. Less than a decade later, she now owns six merchandize stalls in the Bantayan public market in Bantayan Island, Cebu.

The change for the better was not entirely miraculous but was borne of more hard work, perseverance, financial discipline, and a little outside help.

Year 2003 became a crossroad for the Santillans when …