Microfinance entrepreneurs now have access to housing finance under a pioneering program crafted jointly by the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). The program is expected to benefit about 3 million microfinance entrepreneurs. Vice-President Noli De Castro, concurrent chair of HUDCC (seated center), led the program launching with (seated from left) BSP Officer-in-Charge Armando Suratos; HUDCC Secretary General Lucille Ortile; BSP Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla,Jr.; and Development Bank of the Philippines SVP Brillo Reynes,Jr. Also present were (standing, from left): Asian Development Bank Urban Development Specialist Florian Steinberg; BSP Managing Directors Leny Silvestre and Ma. Corazon Guerrero; Monetary Board Members Juanita Amatong and Nelly Favis-Villafuerte; BSP Microfinance Consultant Ed Jimenez; and BSP Director Fernando Caballa. Banks which plan to participate in the lending program will be accredited by HUDCC and DBP to ensure compliance with the provisions approved by the BSP. The loans shall have an assigned risk-weight of as low as 0% (zero) when guaranteed by the Home Guarantee Corporation or a 50% risk-weight if it is not guaranteed. Housing Microfinance loans are eligible as alternative compliance to mandatory credit allocation to agrarian reform and other agricultural credit.