After twenty-five years from the inception of the National Livelihood Support Fund in September 1981, the Fund Secretariat now known as the National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC) held the first national convention of all the Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) serving as Conduits of its Livelihood Credit Assistance Program in September 2006. The NLDC conceived the "Sustainable Income for People in the Agrarian Grassroots" or SIPAG as a humble gesture of appreciation for the active role and participation of the 116 private microfinance institutions in the service of the NLDC's mandate. The SIPAG thereafter evolved into an annual celebration of the successful partnership and re-affirmation of commitments by the National Government and the private Rural Microfinance Institutions in the delivery of micro-financing and other livelihood support services in the rural areas, more particularly in agrarian reform communities.
Highlighting the celebration is the conferment of the SIPAG Award to the Program Conduits that have shown notable accomplishments in the implementation of the NLDC Microfinance Program. Initially serving as a symbol of success measured by the standards set under the NLDC Program, the Award has gradually evolved towards a level of recognition acknowledged and respected by all the institutions in the Microfinance Community. The holding of the 7th SIPAG Awards is a momentous year as it is the first time that a Program Conduit shall be placed in the Hall of Fame after having surpassed and maintained impressive performance for three (3) consecutive years.
The primary service of the NLDC Program is the development and provision of micro-financing in the agrarian reform communities that can be easily accessed by enterprising members of the farmer/agrarian reform beneficiary households living within the threshold of poverty. The NLDC Program is intended to encourage and support the microenterprise endeavors of the household members and aimed to augment household income. The peak of NLDC's advocacy and the ultimate measure of its success are those who were able to lift themselves up from poverty by engaging in productive micro-enterprise ventures under the assistance of the NLDC programs and its MFI Partner Conduits. Those who can best serve as epitomes of success are nominated each yer by the Program Conduits from among the thousands that they assist under the NLDC Programs. Four (4) Regional winners from Luzon I, Luzon II, Visayas and Mindanao are conferred the SIPAG Award each year, from where the National Winner is selected. The award is being conferred for the winners to serve as living testimonies of success and ambassadors of hope in the battle against poverty.
The SIPAG Awards 2012 is another milestone that unfolds liofe changing stories of progress of our humble agrarian reform households. As this years theme holds true, "Kaunlaran sa Kabuhayan... bunga ng KaSIPAGan", the abundance of our new-breed of microentrepreneurs are reaped through their unyielding commitment to hard work. Empowered, the lowly are exploring new avenues of success and soaring in greater heights. Embellished in a fiery spirit of diligence and hopeful dreams, the SIPAG Awards will always serve as a passionate affirmation of the NLDC's mandate to reach out for more as we journey towards the realization of our visions for a sustainable development in the agrarian reform communities.