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 …

Lessons from a Vegetable Farmer

We found Mr. Joel Tormis and Mrs. Jeannie Tormis in their farm tending their fruit bearing bitter cucumber (ampalaya) plants and rows of newly sprouting cucumber plants. Along with microfinance Specialist, Mark Guillermo, and Officers from the Cantilan Bank Tagum branch, we had just come from another location along a river embankment where the couple had planted several long rows of cucumber plants.

We got our education from Mr. Tormis and his wife on a few things about raising vegetables and how cash flow generated from vegetables helps smoothen their income flows.

Mrs. Tormis shared that cucumber plants start generating …