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Program Partner Category 1: Most Outstanding Program Partner for CAR, Regions I, II and III
Cooperative Rural Bank of Bulacan

A creative program partner, the Cooperative Rural Bank of Bulacan (CRBBI), is honored for its innovativeness, boldness, and spunk for having deviated from the usual type of lending - it put up a Special Projects Division that handles the non-bankable but economically active poor through the provision of microfinance services.

The 30-year old Cooperative Rural Bank of Bulacan started with a mission of advocating cooperativism by helping its member cooperatives realize their dreams through the provision of banking services. Today, this focused goal has resulted in a well built, dominant financial services provider in its area of operations.

The CRRB has consistently shown what NLDC head Gondelina Amata calls, nasa puso and pagtulong (putting heart into their job) with the institution of several lending programs like the Livelihood Credit Assistance Program; the Paluwagang Nayon ng CRBB (PNCB), the bank's largest microfinance program; the Puhunang Pangkaunlaran ng Sikap Buhay; the Women's Livelihood Support Fund; the Gintong Ani/Production Loan Program; and the Microfinance Sustainability, Outreach and Livelihood Opportunities.

In particular, it had been quick to recognize the role of women and overseas workers in the growth of a nation. Its immediate response to the growing needs of the people makes the CRRB worth emulating.


Program Partner Category 1: Most Outstanding Program Partner for Regions IV and V
Capitol City Rural Bank of Trece Martires, Inc.

In the early 80s, wizened entrepreneurs from Trece Martires and Tanza, Cavite astutely took note of the rapid growth of their place - the booming population of Metro Manila was quickly spilling over in nearby cities and provinces, including Trece Martires. This group of entrepreneurs was fast to respond by building the Capitol City Rural Bank of Trece Martires (CCRB) in 1982. Despite it being a politically tumultuous year, the group persevered in anticipating the huge financial needs that their rapidly growing city would require.

But booming Trece Martires still had its traditional tillers of the land and fishers of the sea amidst the urbanization. These farmers and fisherfolks had the know-how of their forefathers but not the wherewithal to propel them into the fast-changing economic environment of their province.

This, the CCRB did not just passively take note of - it extended loans to these marginalized folks to help them move forward with the rest of the province. The CCRB began to network with farmers' cooperatives that had members who needed financing.

Though prudent and wise in its dealings with its clientele as what is just to be expected from a banking concern, the CCRB was innovative enough to still address the needs of the so-called non-bankable microentrepreneurs. Because of these progressive ways, CCRB caught the eye of other agencies and soon, by emulation, CCRB was reaping recognition all over the country.

Today, CCRB is in the forefront in development and a top-notch banking concern to boot. 

Program Partner Category 1: Most Outstanding Program Partner for Visayas
First Agro Industrial Rural Bank

"We encourage our clients to have savings, even the kids, we encourage them. We give the children a box to fill up and when this is filled up, it is opened in the bank and this allows the child to open an account in his/her name. For adults, they are encouraged to have a group fund, center fund, or personal savings. There is always a maintaining balance that should not be touched. Postings are regular."

The FairBank is hardly a decade old and yet its resources and assets, its clientele and network had expanded to unforeseen heights. Starting with five-man personnel in Poblacion, Cebu in 1998, it soon opened a branch in Sta. Fe in just three year's time. It was about this time that the bank had its Microfinance Division and its Kaabag Program, a group-lending program.

Its judicious use of funds enabled FairBank to post favorable returns as seen by their 2007 financial profile: its total asset was P465 million with gross loans of P357 million coming from its five branches and four service outlets. The bank's phenomenal growth can be attributed to their sound management policies and competence.

The core passion of FairBank is the acronym HEARTS that spells Heart and Integrity, Excellence and Efficiency, Attention to Customers' Needs, Reliability and Relations, Target-driven, and Synergy and Social Responsibility. 

Program Partner Category 1: Most Outstanding Program Partner for Mindanao
Enterprise Bank, Inc.

"In microfinancing we are targeting the farmers so that they will not go to the usurious rates of 5/6; so that they will not pawn their crops to the Chinese. Our plan is to lend out from P5,000.00 - P11,000 payable in a year's time. But they have to be certified by their barangays that they are legit farmers, that they till lands, that they have irrigation. We also plan to diversify our microfinancing to housing, consumer, and small business loans." - Chito U. Alvizo

The vision is modest - to become the leader in the delivery of microfinancial services in Mindanao. The slogan is "lend short, lend small, lend more, and lend fast" while being efficient in doing so.

The Enterprise Bank, Inc. established in 1976, is one of the oldest institutions for this year.

Zeroing in on microfinancing, thereby helping the poor help themselves, has been the core of EBI's institutional strength. Aware that financing livelihood projects meant that they are also participating in eradicating poverty has emboldened management to expand in other provinces as well - from the original bank in Lianga, Surigao del Sur, it now has 10 branches and 16 service outlets in Mindanao, the latest in Davao City.

Its client outreach in microfinancing was 27,507 in 2006 or an increase of 25 percent from previous year's; its loans totaled P120 million or 41% more, of that in 2005.

Aside from microfinancing, the EBI has taken it upon itself to embark on a feeding program in response to malnutrition cases.

Program Partner Category 2: Most Outstanding Program Partner for CAR, Regions I, II and III
Cooperative Bank of Cagayan

At the onset, the idea that was for the Cooperative Bank of Cagayan to be the source of funds for the farmers, but later on, management realized that there was a wide base of micro entrepreneurs who needed funding; this the CBC filled.

As a bank that responds to the times, it had accommodated by spreading its products and services to include not only savings and time deposits but had also come to grant different types of loans: agricultural loans, cultural, rice and corn productions, livestock, commercial loans, and salary loans for overseas workers, barangay officials and the police. And at present, it had also been accepting remittances which, as everyone knows, is a huge rosy market.

The Cooperative Bank of Cagayan believes that in lending to the micro and small borrowers, it had helped uplift their lives, and that of their families and communities. In some form, the farmers and micro lenders had graduated from being marginalized; a great psychic reward indeed.

With a flexible banking policy, the Cooperative Bank of Cagayan has shown that it deserves the loyalty of its clientele. It also shows that it is a friend to support the dreams and visions of their clients. The CBC rightly deserves to be an awardee in this year's SIPAG Awards.

Program Partner Category 2: Most Outstanding Program Partner in Regions IV and V
Countryside Multi-Line Cooperative

The employees of the Bicol Upland Resources Development Foundation established the Countryside Multi-Line Cooperative in 1992. Their aim was to be a channel of government programs and services for the socio-economic development and technical enhancement of their members in the cooperative.

The cooperative, as a conduit of the NLDC, lends out to poor but enterprising members who go into any kind of livelihood projects that would augment their incomes. The strategy is to let their income fill their basic needs especially in the education of their children, while the livelihood projects are used as additional sources.

Microfinancing is seen as a way to help the small farmers and microentrepreneurs who would otherwise be non-bankable. In the coop, the interest for loans is low - only 2.5 percent compared to 7 to 10 percent elsewhere. Also, coop members are assured of dividends. Furthermore, trainings are given to enhance the members' skills and capabilities.

Their ongoing programs that are of great help to the farmers are the Organized Palay Production and Procurement which involves the recruitment of rice farmers in neighboring municipalities who need capital; the Livelihood Enhancement Assistance Program which provides loans to micro-entrepreneurs even without collateral; and the Savings Mobilization Program which helps make the coop sustainable.

Because of its sound lending programs, the CMLC had been recognized for its efforts like the Special Awards in Best Deposit, Best in Membership Expansion, Best in Capital Build Up; second placer as Outstanding Cooperative; and was an awardee last year for being one of the Most Outstanding Program Partners of NLSF among others.

As of June 2008, the CMLC had 634 regular members and 9,619 associate members.

Its assets have grown through the years: in 2004, it was worth P7.8 million. Today it is a hefty P94 million.  

Program Partner Category 2: Most Outstanding Program Partner for Visayas
Quidan Kaisahan Negros Ocidental

The Quidan Kaisahan Negros Occidental (QKNO) experience is unique in that it focuses on community-driven development and empowerment to lift the standard of living of the poor in Negros Occidental.

Aware that the poor in the province was large, it proceeded to target a 10 percent reduction of poverty at the start of its program in 2003. A survey then revealed that 62 percent of a total 12,285 households had income below subsistence. Not only did QKNO achieve its target in 2007, it exceeded it as well.

QKNO served a total 97% of 7,371 of the targeted 7,617 poor households, with 4,867 households benefiting from the community-based microfinance with at least three repeat loans/cycles.

How did QKNO do it? By formulating a Barangay Development Plan wherein priorities for the use of local public funds were identified. This way, the proper use of public funds was ensured. A microfinance facility was also set up where residents could access bigger loan funds from the organization. And, a micro-insurance program was installed to reduce the risk of depleting resources. Furthermore, an Alternative Learning System as set up for the out-of-school youth, particularly those children who work to help augment their family income.

Last year, QKNO served 5,756 micro borrowers under the NLDC program. 

Program Partner Category 2: Most Outstanding Program Partner Mindanao
Gata Daku Multi-Purpose Cooperative

The main mission of the Gata Daku Multi-Purpose Cooperative (GDMPC) is to empower the community by focusing on the poor. To help achieve this mission, the cooperative conducts strategic planning participated in by selected members who have medium to big businesses already.

The cooperative has associate members who are basically the microentrepreneurs. To date they number around 4,000. These microentrepreneurs are closely monitored by the cooperative. One of the things done by the cooperative is to tie-up with the market where their client microentrepreneurs can sell their produce.

Aside from microfinance, the cooperative has products and services that cater to their members' other financial needs - salary loan, agri and non-agri loans as well as providential loans. The members are also assisted through trainings that are part of the technical assistance given by the cooperative.

The trainings to the microentrepreneurs have resulted in improvement in their social life - some have become barangay officials, councilors even. Some have become facilitators or have presided in meetings. As incentive, the cooperative gives among them - best farmer of the year, business entrepreneur of the year, and group awards.

As part of its environmental program, GDMPC is actively participating in the micro-watershed located in the buffer zone of Mt. Malindang and the local Socio-Ecological & Social Advancement Project that has resulted in the establishment of an ecological awareness center.

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