Mindanao rural banks cited for winning performance

Sun Star – Mindanao rural banks pulled off an impressive performance in terms of earnings, number of borrowers, and deposits in 2011, based on the Rural Banks Association of the Philippines – Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (RBAP-MABS) reports.

Results were based on the EAGLE (Efficiency, Asset Quality, Growth, Liability Structure, and Earnings) assessment results, which were presented recently during the 2012 RBAP-MABS National Roundtable Conference and 15th Anniversary Celebration held in Manila.

In addition to the banks listed here, the Rural Bank of Montevista was recognized for its role in contributing to the MIX Market.…

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 …

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 …

More Rural Banks Complete Microinsurance Training Course

Eighteen rural banks based in Luzon and Mindanao recently completed the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP) Basic Microinsurance Training during two separate sessions. Twenty-nine (29) bank officers and staff from ten (10) rural bank-members of the Cagayan-Kalinga Federation attended the training held in Cooperative Bank, Tuguegarao City, on November 24-25 while eleven (11) bank officers and staff from eight (8) rural banks participated in the course held on December 7-8 in Manila. Altogether, one hundred and sixty (160) rural banks have been trained under the RBAP Basic Microinsurance Training course since January 2011.

The two-day training covers the …

Northwestern Mindanao Rural Bankers Complete the Microinsurance Basic Training Course

The Northwestern Mindanao Federation rural bank members participated in the Microinsurance (MI) Basic Training Course held at the Bethany Gardens Resort in Ozamis City, Misamis Occidental last August 11 and 12. Twenty-two (22) officers and staff from eleven (11) rural banks attended the course which covers the fundamentals of microinsurance, including marketing and servicing of clients.

The two-day MI Basic Training Course is part of the Insurance Commissions requirements for Microinsurance Agent Licensing. In addition, participating banks must also pass the qualifying exam administered at the end of the course and amend the bank’s article of incorporation to include microinsurance …

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. …

BSP officers and Philippine Monetary Board member visit Green Bank and Cantilan Bank

A 12-member study group from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas(BSP) led by Monetary Board Member Juanita Amatong and Dep. Gov. Nestor Espenilla, Jr. visited Cantilan Bank and Green Bank in Butuan City from July 23-24. During the visit, the BSP engaged the officials and staff of the banks in an open dialogue concerning the challenges in their microfinance operations and the regulatory areas that could help promote sound expansion of microfinance services among rural banks. Cantilan Bank and Green Bank are both participant banks of the RBAP-MABS program, which is supported by USAID/Philippines.

At the Cantilan Bank branch in Butuan …

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. …

Mobile Phone Banking Services Expand Business Opportunities in Surigao del Sur

Loida Llamas owns and operates Pawnshop de Madrid – Madrid, Surigao del Sur’s “homegrown” pawnshop. On the side, she makes and sells trinkets and fashion accessories. Loida, a depositor of Cantilan Bank, decided to accept GCASH from her customers in March 2007; she now uses the mobile phone banking services of the bank for practically all of her business transactions. Loida gets the raw materials for her trinkets from Manila-based suppliers. She now pays them through Text-A-Payment instead of making inter-branch bank deposits. Her sub-dealers likewise remit their sales purchases by sending her GCASH. Loida also sends money phone-to-phone to …