The Philippine National Committee for the United Nations Year of Microcredit has been recognized recently at the United Nations International Forum to Build Inclusive Financial Sectors as one of the excellent National Committees. The National Committee is chaired by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. with members coming from the government, private sector and academe. The Philippines was recognized among 61 countries in light of its active support and commitment to increasing the appreciation of microfinance in the country and highlighting the role of microfinance in poverty alleviation. The award was given to only 3 countries from Asia among the 12 winners. Mr. Washington Sycip, who is a member of the National Committee, received the award in behalf of the National Committee.
Apart from the many activities undertaken by the Philippines for Year of Microcredit and the public-private partnerships that were forged during the Year, it was particularly recognized for the conduct of the National Microfinance Summit where a Memorandum of Agreement by concerned agencies to adopt a Uniform Set of Performance Standards for All Types of Microfinance Institutions was signed. This initiative was lauded for its contribution to developing a sustainable and transparent microfinance industry in the country. The Philippines was awarded a plaque from the United Nations and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poorest, the World Bank consortium of nearly 30 donors, as well as a scholarship to a microfinance training course in the United States.
The United Nations has declared the year 2005 as the International Year of Microcredit to highlight the importance of microfinance in economic development. Over 100 countries have joined the global effort to build inclusive financial sectors that will ensure that the unbanked will have access to financial services that will enable them to improve the quality of their lives. 61 countries have established National Committees to coordinate their celebration of the Year of Microcredit.
The culminating event for this global initiative was an International Forum held in the United Nations on November 7-8, 2005. The Forum brought together over 700 participants from all over the world with panels involving multinational and domestic financial institutions, the World Bank, IMF, central banks, the private sector and microentrepreneurs.
One of the major highlights of the Forum was the awarding of Excellent National Committees who have demonstrated their commitment and support to promoting inclusive financial sectors in their respective countries. The Philippines once again showed its pioneering efforts for microfinance development when it was selected as one of the National Committee Awardees.
All these activities were aimed at creating the foundation and international linkages needed to move toward a future where all people have access to the financial services that they need.