The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will conduct a one-day information seminar on microfinance on Monday, October 20, 2003 at the Pryce Plaza in Cagayan de Oro City. This is part of a series of information seminars that the BSP is conducting in strategic regions of the country to promote the development of sustainable microfinance operations and institutions.
The objective is to make microfinance services accessible to a larger number of entrepreneurial poor to help alleviate poverty and improve their quality of life. Microfinance is BSP's flagship program for poverty alleviation. Accordingly, it has put in place an enabling policy and regulatory environment for practitioners, training and capacity building within the BSP and the banking sector, as well as in promoting and advocating microfinance.
The Cagayan de Oro City seminar is open to the following: 1) those interested in engaging in microfinance, 2) those that are already engaged in microfinance and want to formalize their operations through the establishment of a bank, and 3) those that already have microfinance operations and want to learn more about microfinance to improve their operations. The presentations will cater to the information needs of these different sets of audience as it will be both technical and practical in nature.
The BSP officials who will serve as resource persons at the seminar are: Monetary Board Member Melito S. Salazar, Jr., Director Wilfredo B. Domo-ong, Director Rolando Alejando Q. Agustin and Microfinance Consultant Mr. Eduardo C. Jimenez. Officers from the National Credit Council (Department of Finance), Director Joselito Almario and Dr. Piedad Geron, will also be at the seminar. Mr. Ignacito Alvizo, President of Enterprise Bank and Mr. Eric Mendiola Loans Section Head of Rural Bank of Cantilan will share their experience as well as best practices and success stories of their respective microfinance operations.
So far, BSP has conducted seminars in cities of Cebu, San Fernando in La Union, Iloilo, Legaspi, Davao and most recently Angeles. Average attendance in each of the seminars was over 150 from the banking, cooperative and NGO sectors. As an immediate result of the seminars, institutions are expressing their interest in learning more about microfinance and eventually engaging in microfinance operations. The seminars have also been a good venue to discuss various policy issues that will accelerate the development of the microfinance industry in the country.
BSP's advocacy has resulted in a progressive increase in the number of sustainable financial institutions providing microfinance services, as follows:
- To date, there are 3 microfinance oriented rural banks (CARD Bank, Vision Bank and Banco ng Masa) and 2 microfinance oriented thrift banks (Opportunity Microfinance Bank and Microenterpirse Bank) with over 60,000 microentrepreneurs as microfinance beneficiaries.
- There are 116 other rural and cooperative rural banks with microfinance operations which have collectively reached nearly 350,000 microentrepreneurs.
- In addition, more and more formal financial institutions are moving to engage in microfinance while informal and unregulated institutions are moving toward formalization.
For further information, please call BSP's Cagayan de Oro Branch Office at (088) 857-1554.