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Most Outstanding Rural Financial Institution for Luzon 1
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Cooperative Rural Bank of Bulacan
Plaridel, Bulacan

Through bonding together and pooling of meager resources, on May 18, 1975, Cooperative Rural Bank of Bulacan (CRBB) was organized by 135 Samahang Nayons and primary cooperatives. This initiative symbolized the aspirations and commitment of small farmers to become self-reliant and effective contributors to the orderly and accelerated development and growth of the countryside.

During the first quarter of the year 1977, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas conducted a thorough study on the capability of the Samahang Nayons to build a rural bank. And after a few months, on August 26, 1977, the authority to operate as a rural bank was granted. The following year, the Cooperative Rural Bank of Bulacan was inaugurated.

The bank proceeded with its venture and operated on a very small scale with only its head office lending mainly to its members. This has continued until year 1981. But due to the challenges of economic instability and political dissonance, the years 1981 until 1984 have been caustic. The bank had incurred losses.

But the management, in the face of these ordeals remained strong and hopeful. This optimism paved way for the bank's recovery. The years 1985 to 1989 have been the institution's recouping process. Opportunely, the bank totally recovered from its losses and registered an increasing trend of net earnings in 1989.

In conjunction with this upturn, the bank was granted by the Land Bank of the Philippines a rediscounting line facility of P300,000.00 in 1990. In the succeeding year, the bank's rediscounting line was increased to P1,500,000.00.

The bank's urge for our farmers and fisher folks to be globally competitive in the world trade regime is parallel with the need to provide them the basic tools for modernization and global competitiveness, foremost of which is credit. This is one reason why CRBB has decided to enter into a program tie-up with the Department of Agriculture through the Agricultural Credit Policy Council in 1993. This has made the bank a primary conduit of credit to the rural folks.

The bank continued to manifest growth both in terms of resources and the number of clients it serves. For this progress to further thrive, the bank sought for the leadership and management of Mr. Nestor S. Custodio who assumed the position of General Manager/Chief Operating Officer in 1995. That same year, the bank started its program tie-up with the National Livelihood Support Fund (NLSF) aimed to create innovative approaches to enterprise financing that would generate hundreds of meaningful sources of income among CRBB stakeholders.

In year 2000, CRBB entered into a partnership with the Responsible Investment for Solidarity and Empowerment, another microfinance fund provider. It was on the same year that the bank ranked no. 21 in the Top 200 Rural Banks and No. 1 in all Cooperative Banks in the Philippines.

In April 2002, the NLSF and the Government of Quezon City tapped the expertise of CRBB and launched the Puhunang Pangkaunlaran ng Sikap Buhay, a program that provides microcredit facility to the entrepreneurial poor women of Quezon City.

The year 2007 is another exceptional year for CRBB when the bank reached the Two Billion Pesos mark in Total Resources, making the bank the far-leading cooperative bank and ranked no. 5 rural bank in the country.

The bank received several recognitions from its program partners in 2009. CRBB has been given the Gold Partnership Award by PCFC, two Gawad Pitak Awards for Best in Capital Build-up and 2nd place for Cooperative Rural Bank Category given by Land Bank of the Philippines, and two SIPAG Awards as Most Outstanding Rural Financial Institution for Luzon and National Winner, given by the National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC). The bank also opened its second microfinance-oriented branch and its first branch outside Bulacan which is in Makati City.

In 2010, CRBB opened a branch located in Urdaneta City, Pangasinan. During the same year, CRBB was also given a Gawad Pitak Award for Most Outstanding Rural Bank by Land Bank of the Philippines. The bank also plans to launch ElectronicTeller, CRBB's own Automated Teller Machine in partnership with Megalink and will open two additional branches in Sta. Rosa, Laguna and Cainta, Rizal.

From its simple beginnings, CRB Bulacan has indeed come a long way. Thirty-two prolific years of unparalleled service is not enough. Hence, CRB Bulacan will continue to fulfill its mandate of providing accessible, affordable, and quality products and services to the people it serves.

  

Most Outstanding Rural Financial Institution for Luzon 2
Women's Rural Bank
Rosario, Batangas


Women's Rural Bank (WRB) was incorporated by a small group of women with a shared vision, mission, and responsibility. The bank was conceived to bring a social reform agenda into the mainstream of rural banking. This agenda shall enable poverty-strapped women to have access to financial services and engage in profitable economic activities. The concept gave rise to a rural bank with a special mission to contribute to the socio-economic upliftment and empowerment of women in the countryside.

Indeed, WRB envisions to take part in bringing rural societies closer to their aspirations for life of dignity, harmony, peace, and equity for all women and men. A loan from a foreign creditor who supported WRB's affirmative action for rural women, assisted to realize their goals. The loan enabled the bank to operate with adequate funds since 1998. Shared responsibility naturally applies to the Board of Directors who is responsible for direction setting and policy formulations for a sound and profitable bank.

The bank was incorporated on September 16, 1997 and was given Certificate of Authority to operate as a Rural Bank by the BSP on February 19, 1998. Having been duly authorized, WRB started operations that same month in Rosario, Batangas. Its vision-mission statement continued to guide the organization since.

In search for more purposive way of pursuing its mission, WRB initiated a partnership with a newly formed group called Association of Small and Microenterprise of the Philippines (ASMEP). It was a partnership designed to provide additional capital to ASMEP members to raise the productivity and profitability of their economic or livelihood activities. The mode of implementing the program entailed a division of responsibilities; that as Credit Committee of the ASMEP Board of Directors is responsible in providing training needs of the members while WRB is responsible in providing additional capital needed by them. It was an approach to microfinance operation in which bank management depended on the partner (ASMEP BOARD) for training on technical know-how, adoption of desired social norms, and building up of discipline and responsibility.

This partnership approach to microfinance was initiated in June 2002 with 100 clients as initial number of clients or borrowers. Equipped with basic knowledge on microfinance learned from training and workshops, ASMEP Board and WRB went into actual practice, in partnership, for the first time. Without going through details, it was observed that the number of ASMEP members in the program decreased with time as poor-performing borrowers were eliminated from further participation by the bank. This observation was attributed to inadequate preparation given to borrowers, which was a responsibility of ASMEP Credit Committee.

Consequently, WRB replaced partnership approach with a new systematic group lending approach. This happened in March 2003 when a well-experienced microfinance implementer joined WRB as Bank Manager and Microfinance Head. A number of the remaining borrowers under the WRB-ASMEP partnership have already joined the present WRB microfinance program called BUTIL (Bukas ay Uunlad, Tagumpay Itataguyod ng Lahat).


Most Outstanding Rural Financial Institution for Mindanao
Peoples Bank of Caraga, Inc.
San Francisco, Agusan Del Sur


The Peoples Bank of Caraga was founded by the Mindanao Agricultural Resettlement Agency (MARA), a project of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) in October 24, 1972 to assist in the agrarian reform program of the government. The MARA Executive Committee, then headed by Dr. Juan M. Flavier, aimed to efficiently deliver desirable financial services to the countryside. This mission still stands today even after serving thousands of microentrepreneurs by giving them needed capital to begin their respective business ventures.

Aside from credit facilities, the organization also offers technical assistance, cooperative development, and health services to agrarian reform beneficiaries. The following programs ensure the holistic development of individuals and the community: Continuing Education for PABK and ISAPA Members, Alternative Livelihood Education, Capacity Building for Microfinance Operations, Demonstration Farms & Gardens on Organic Agriculture, Library Services for Microentrepreneurs, Small Farmers, Fisher Folks and Microfinance Workers, Alternative Education for Out-of-school Youth, Leadership Trainings for Community Leaders, Business Development Services, Post-Harvest Demonstration Units, Community Development Program and Social Performance Management Initiatives. The bank also promotes strong values and saving habits among clients within the community.

No matter how big they become, now with 457 staff members, they never lose sight of their vision of uplifting the countryside through widespread, worthwhile, and sustained economic activities, generated from appropriate technology and effective credit facilities which serves as their valuable contribution to society. They currently have 3 sister institutions namely, Foundation for Rural and Industrial Equipment for National Development, Inc. (FRIEND), FRIEND Research and Training Center, and the PBC-Mutual Benefit Association.

Today, the bank has a total of 14 offices/bank service centers located in Agusan del Sur, Davao Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Compostela Valley, Davaodel Sur, Davao del Norte, and Agusan del Norte with a total resource record of Php 881,582,927.97. Its total net portfolio stands at Php 752,349,790.94 as of May 2010. The bank's major microfinance programs, the Project Abante Barangay para sa Kauswagan (PABK) and Isa-isa, Sama-samang Pag-unlad (ISAPA-Micro-Agri), boast of 37,487 and 1,564 active members respectively.

Peoples Bank of Caraga Inc. continues to give hope to those who want to pursue a better life through microentrepreneurship. 


Most Outstanding Non-Government Organization for Luzon 1
Alalay sa Kaunlaran, Inc.
Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija


ASKI was born in October 1986 in the year of the EDSA People Power Revolution when social issues like poverty and unemployment were widely felt. A group of business leaders in Nueva Ecija, out of Christian zeal and compassion, joined hands to think of a positive response and help deliver an economic turnaround through microentrepreneurship.

ASKI was officially registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on March 23, 1987 as a non-stock, non-profit organization committed to the promotion and development of micro and small-to-medium enterprises and the delivery of social services. It formally launched operations on July 1, 1987. From its starting fund of P460,000.00. ASKI's investment has grown to a total portfolio of P490,000,000.00 in 2010. From a small playing field in Cabanatuan City, ASKI has branched out to other provinces in Central Luzon, Regions I and II. From a handful of savings and loan services, ASKI's lines have diversified into a capital build-up and other cooperating arrangements.

With a small capital of investment provided by the Maranatha Trust of Australia, the group reached out to small entrepreneurs, to the street players and movers of the micro economy that had no access to bigger funding institutions. Challenged by their mission and the efforts of other development NGOs, the founders and managers dug deep and wide on their passion to serve. Slowly, the organization grew into what it is today, a byword in eco-social development in Central Luzon and nearby regions - Alalay sa Kaunlaran - a partner in development. Now as of July 31, 2010. ASKI has assisted 65,000 clients, has 8 extension offices and 25 branches to cater to its target sectors.

ASKI attributes its success to a values-oriented philosophy on entrepreneurial lending, believing that no return on equity can be realized without an informed, responsible and conscientious clientele. They have programs like Alalay sa Kabuhayan Program, Alalay sa Magsasaka Program (Micro-Agri) and Alalay sa Pabahay Program (Micro-Housing) which are complemented by support services. Programs on scholarship, health and environment, spiritual and moral transformation, and integrated community development are administered under the ASKI foundation.


Most Outstanding Non-Government Organization for Mindanao
KFI Center for Community Development Foundation, Inc.
Zamboanga City

Where other MFIs dare not go, KCCDFI Goes...
KFI Center for Community Development Foundation, Inc. (KCCDFI) is a non-stock, non-profit institution which started as one of the programs of the Kasanyangan-Mindanao Foundation Inc. after Mr. Rodolfo T. Quinday Sr. attended the savings and credit training of the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development, Inc. (CARD)
in August 2001.

In October of the same year, microfinance program started its operations catering the poorest of the poor in the western part of Zamboanga City with 225 initial clients following the modified grameen system (village banking) which is localyy termed as group loan. After a few months of operation, it was discovered that the target sector is not bankable due to insufficiency of income from their livelihood, usually agricultural in nature, which incapacitated them to pay their weekly dues. With this, management which was spear-headed by Mr. Quinday, modified its target clients to enterprising poor women.

After almost four years of operation, the microfinance program decided to spin-off and formed its new foundation upon approval of its Board of Trustees. Hence, on December 1, 2005, the new foundation under its new name, the KFI Center for Community Development Foundation, Inc. was registered with the SEC.

KCCDFI at its early stage of microfinance operation in 2003 was the first to penetrate Basilan, Sulu, and Bongao by providing microfinance services. This led to the creation of KCCDFI's tag line - Where other MFIs Dare not GO, KCCDFI Goes. Apart from the credit facility provided to its clients, KCCDFI likewise offers micro-insurance and promotes savings and business development services such as trainings conducted in partnership with TESDA. This is to enhance the members' entrepreneurial skills that will help them augment and improve their economic activities.

Due to its achievements in the microfinance field, KCCDFI is proud to share its awards and citations to those who helped establish the institution throughout the years. It has received the following recognitions to date: Most Outstanding Non-Government Organization for Mindanao by the NLDC (2009); Plaque of Recognition from the CITI Foundation in partnership with the CITI Philippines, BSP, and Microfinance Council of the Philippines (2007, 2008, 2009); Plaque of Recognition as Outstanding Client of the Prudential Guarantee and Assurance, Inc. (2008); and Recognition from the National Livelihood Support Fund as one of its outstanding partners in providing microfinance facilities to poor urban and rural communities (2006).  

These awards continue to motivate the organization to innovate their services, expand network, and inspire every Filipino of his or her ability to aim for bigger things and make it happen.


Most Outstanding Cooperative for Luzon 1
Ligas Kooperatiba ng Bayan sa Pagpapaunlad
Guiguinto, Bulacan

Ligas Kooperatiba ng Bayan sa Pagpapaunlad (LKBP) was established on March 2, 1986 at the small town of Ligas, Malolos, Bulacan. Thirty incorporators comprise the original organization with the initial capital of P15,800.00. As of 2009, the cooperative has already grown into 17,204 members of mostly farmers, fishermen, micro-small-medium entrepreneurs, professionals, and self-employed with a paid-up capital of P49,018,000.00 and total resources of P263,350,000.00.

LKBP continues to expand in response to the growing need of the emerging small and medium enterprise industry in the Philippines. They believe that the marginalized can prosper given the tools needed and equal opportunities. By delivering fast, reliable, effective, and quality financial services and social programs to the Filipinos, they have accomplished their goals stated in the cooperative's Medium Term Plan (2004-2010) and will begin to set new ones for the next five years (2011-2015). LKBP is optimistic at the future ahead as it aims to become a world-class organization that is ISO certified.

The 5-storey LKBP corporate building serves as the edifice of a modern hub that provides solutions to members' needs under the "one-stop-shop" service concept. The LKBP Tower and Business Centre integrates various coop's businesses and programs services such as banking and payment, insurance, wellness and healthcare, venue for members' interaction, seminars and trainings, and other related activities promoting a higher quality of life for members. Under this roof and beyond, LKBP will continue to reengineer its organization by adopting the corporate concept of business set-up wherein the cooperative serves as a holding company with its diversified businesses as its subsidiaries.

The establishment of its Foundation will ensure the balancing of the gains of the cooperative to serve the needs and interests of various stakeholders and the larger community by providing support funds for various development and social programs (i.e. medical/dental/optical missions, nutrition/feeding program, livelihood trainings and enterprise development, community Development, environmental protection, etc.). This will be done through the coop's Social Responsibility (CSR) program.

The cooperative continues to invest in long-term social enterprises such as the LKBP Montessori School. By offering of scholarships, the financially challenged but bright and deserving students are given access to quality education through the school. After graduation, the coop's Manpower Placement Services continue to assist individuals by matching them to potential employers.

LKBP also recognizes the need to deepen involvement in the agriculture sector and rural enterprises for greater countryside development. In partnership with various agencies such as DAR, DA, LBP, NLDC, NATCCO, and DOLE new branches in the countryside will be established to cater to small farmers and fisherfolks who do not have access to support. Aside from financial aid, technical guidance will be made available to introduce innovations in the industry and marketing support through the opening of the coop's Palay and Rice Trading Center.

The LKBP also aims to be the major catalyst for total community development by pioneering a model Agrarian Reform City (ARC). Seven identified poor farming barangays in Malolos City (barangays Ligas, Bungahan, Sumapang Bata, Sumapang Matanda, Dakila, Tikay, Barihan) where LKBP emanated and where the cooperative has major concentrations of farmer members, will serve as the pilot sites. In partnership with DAR and various agencies, the project will develop an "integrated organic farm" modeling a windmill, an inland fishpond, organic rice and vegetable farm to serve as demo farm for farmers.

LKBP turns 25 years old on 2011 with a vision to create agrarian reform communities (ARC) of empowered agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs). With the assistance and presence of other community stakeholders, LKBP believes in the achievement of optimum agricultural productivity, responsible utilization of natural resources, and protection of the environment towards sustainable socio-economic development leading to genuine progress and better quality of life. 


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Almeria Seafarers Multi-Purpose Cooperative
Almeria, Biliran Province


Like any other professional, seafarers are not spared from financial constraints in spite of earning dollars. Because of their strong desire to give proper education to their children and provide better lives for their families, many of them run short of finances for other necessities and allocate savings for the future and emergency needs. This usually happens when they are offboard a vessel for quite a longer time.

This familiar scenario prompted Engr. Roberto Ty and Teofilo Caparro to create an organization that will support the needs of their members. The two were joined by the following individuals who also shared their vision: Zosimo Montes, Roberto Atok, Domingo Barrina, Teddy Abrea, Oliveros Ebit, Henry Saberon, Richelio Tonacao, Lucio Bagdoc and Beban Mecaydor.

The Almeria Seafarers Mulit-Purpose Cooperative (ASEMCO) was formally organized on September 4, 1994. Originally it was intended exclusively for seamen but, anticipating operational and management problems that may arise once they go on board a vessel, they decided to include their wives as part of the organization.

The ASEMCO was established with an initial capital of P12,600.00. The cooperative today has over P84,000,000.00 in assets. It started with 42 initial regular members and it has now grown to 232 regular members and 2,033 associate members which is almost 54 times larger in number than their starting group.

Aside from providing financial products such as deposits and loans, ASEMCO opened and education facility. On June 1999, the Almeria Seafarers Learning Center, Inc. (ASLC) was established in response to the growing need of early childhood education in the municipality of Almeria. Since the classrooms were not yet available at a warehouse to accommodate the pioneering pupils of the school. There were only 20 pupils in all at that time. After two weeks of operation, they transferred to their newly painted classrooms located at Del Bano St., Poblacion, Almeria, Biliran for a more conducive to learning environment for the learners.In 2003, the Department of Education Culture and Sports (DECS) issued a government permit to the school to operate pre-school education. On September 15, 2006, the Department of Education granted a DepEd Government Recognition for its pre-elementary courses. Now, ASLC offers pre-school courses: Nursery (ages 3 to 4 years old), Kinder I (age 5 years old) and Kinder II (age 6 years old).  It has maintained its good reputation in giving quality education and being a sole private pre-school institution which is affordable to the community.

In 2004, OWWA launched the Groceria Project granting P50,000.00 worth of grocery items to the OFW groups which funded the ASEMCO Groceria.

Through the years, the cooperative has facilitated the growth and development of the municipality of Almeria and its neighboring towns. It has provided credit facilities to over 2,000 borrowers and P65,000,000.00 loan portfolio through microfinance, salary loans, honorarium loans, and small-medium enterprises assistance. Moreover, ASEMCO also engages in various programs for the welfare of its members and the community through its Scholarship Program, Pamaskong Handog, Medical Mission, and Blood Letting activities.

ASEMCO has expanded its area of operations covering Biliran Province. It has 18 regular staff and 14 contractual/casual employees. The organization is continually looking forward for linkages and networking from any like-minded groups willing to support in terms of financial and non-financial assistance. These assistance would in a way or another, help the cooperative in the realization of its dreams.


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Gata Daku Multi-Purpose Cooperative
Clarin, Misamis Occidental

Gata Daku Multi-Purpose Cooperative (GDMPC) was founded in March 1992 by a group of farmers concerned with the plight on how to augment their income. Thirty two farmer-cooperators led by late Hermenegildo Dela Rosa led the institution of this cooperative. Its registration was confirmed by the Cooperative Development Authority in August 14, 1992.

For about 7 years, the GDMPC carried out its operation in the barangay where its sari-sari store was located. In its early stage, the cooperative was under pressure in dealing with arrear accounts due to calamity and vulnerabilities of the organization and in the lives of the members. But owing to a strong social capital, the kinship, faith-based relationships, and the infusion of younger and more educated members, the GDMPC was able to institute changes in its operations.

In 1999, its office was moved to the town proper where the cooperative started facing the challenges in developing strategies of becoming a financially viable and stable organization. The management staff experienced hardships in recovering losses, adhering to standards, establishing relationship with new members, and building partnership with other institutions and coop networks. But all these struggles and tests, led the cooperative to its new paradigm and thrust to soar on high for a cause of changing the lives of their fellows for the better.

For the past years, the existence of the cooperative has exhibited good governance and management with commitment and determination to continue to improve their organizational sustainability.

Their products are manifestations of their convictions and priorities. The saving products cater to deposit needs such as Time Deposit, Regular Savings, Youthbee Savings, My Graduation Savings, and Education Savings. TRY ME is a testimony to their commitment to appropriate funds to ensure financial stability.

They also address agricultural needs recognizing the importance of crops in our society. CROPS is also an acronym that stands for Corn Production Loan, Root Crops, Production Loan, Organic Fertilizer Loan, Palay Production Loan, and Swine Fattening Loan.

They also address non-agricultural requirements which they believe will help uplift the lives of their members. CHEERS FOR THE BEST represent loans for:

Cellphone
Hospitalization
Emergency
Education
Re-connection
Salary

Fast Loan
OFW
Rediscounting

Travel & Tour
Housing
Estate

Business
Equipment
Show Money
Trisikad

In addition to the services mentioned above, they also offer microfinance assistance through loans (groups and individuals), money transfer through Western Union, microinsurance, and education.

GDMPC has been and will continue to be an important mover in Misamis Occidental.


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