2012 RBAP-MABS Microfinance Conference and Awards Ceremony

Over 200 rural bankers and other participants throughout the Philippines attended the 2012 National Roundtable Conference organized by the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP) – Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (MABS) Program. The two-day conference is a gathering of all RBAP-MABS participating banks to share and exchange experiences on microfinance operations, new developments in the field, and marks the Programs’ 15th anniversary. The United States Chargé d’Affaires, Ms. Leslie Bassett, opened the 15th year anniversary of RBAP-MABS and Awards Dinner along with Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ Monetary Board Member Ignacio Bunye.

The MABS Program, now on its 15th …

Banks Now Serve 1 Million Active Micro-Borrowers

Opening the 2012 National Roundtable Conference of the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines – Microenterprise Access to Banking Services Program (RBAP-MABS) on June 7, 2012, Ms. Chuchi Fonacier, Managing Director of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), cited a set of impressive statistics on how banks in the Philippines have now expanded access to microfinance services.

In her keynote address before the participants of the conference, she cited BSP data on the lending side: 190 banks with microfinance operations are reaching about one million active borrowers with an outstanding loan portfolio of PhP 7.2 billion (US$170 million). In addition to …

Rural Banks Learn Best Practices in Developing Housing Microfinance Products

Fifteen (15) participants from seven (7) Luzon rural banks shared their best practices in developing, marketing, and selling housing microfinance product to their clients at the Training Workshop conducted by the United States Agency for International Development-supported Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines-Microenterprise Access to Banking Services Program, in partnership with the Research and Development Department of GM Bank in Nueva Ecija from March 7-9.

The three-day workshop is part of the technical assistance provided by RBAP-MABS to its participating banks. A Focused Group Discussion (FGD) with GM Bank’s group loan clients was conducted to demonstrate FGD facilitation and validation …

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 …

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 …

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. …