Wednesday, June 28, 2017
NLDC Conducts Its 2015 Business Forum for Visayas and Mindanao Program Partners
NLDC Conducts Its 2015 Business Forum for Visayas and Mindanao Program Partners

The 2015 Business Forum for the National Livelihood Development Corporation's Visayas and Mindanao Program Partners which was co-organized with Lamac Multi-Purpose Cooperative, was conducted last March 4-6, 2015, in Best Western Plus Lex Hotel in Cebu City.

A total of 65 participants from 41 Program Partners attended the 3-day event.

The forum aimed to identify institutional challenges encountered by partner conduits, the opportunities available, and assess conduits' current practices related to recent developments in microfinance. The forum was a venue for an intelligent discussion of the three subject matters fundamental in the continuity of conduits' program implementation: governance, climate change adaptation, and ASEAN integration.

Governance Towards Effectively Reaching End-Client Beneficiaries

Dr. Aser B. Javier, an Associate Professor of the Institute of Development Management and Governance in UP Los Banos presented the first  topic titled "Governance towards effectively reaching end-client beneficiaries". The discussion revolved on the critical role of governance and the specific principles at work within and among partner institutions.

Governance from its managerial concept to putting values on relationships was highlighted. The four theoretical dynamics of governance, namely: power, process, community, and self were also given focus. He also discussed the seven variables from the Pathways for Transformation Model, namely Environment, Strategy, Core, Process, Structure, System, Culture, and Results, which can serve as guide to organization's strategic plan and operations. The attendees were reminded that governance is a complex matter and that the technical inputs provided serve only as a guide to assist them in choosing the governance approach most suitable for them to effectively reach their beneficiaries.

Ms. Maria Elena C. Limocon, General Manager of Lamac Multi-Purpose Cooperative briefly shared Lamac MPC's definition of good governance. For them, good governance is achieving the desired results the right way and through "leadership by example". She emphasized two governance traits essential in achieving good governance: Delegating Leadership and Enhancing Members Participation. The governance practices being upheld by cooperatives are rooted from their mission, vision, and core values and places emphasis on serving members' needs while embracing disciplined leadership. She concluded by posing challenge to MFIs to serve humanity through good governance and not be ruled by wealth because good governance will bring a mutual benefit to both the MFIs and the clients.

Ms. Cristina A. Bulaon, Chief Operating Officer of Peoples Bank of Caraga, aside from sharing their bank's framework which was anchored on its mission towards reaching target clients and meeting target clients' needs, also emphasized the positive results of the many Capability Building Interventions and Community-based Agro-Enterprise Development Program, and activities provided by NLDC which benefited end-client beneficiaries. PB Caraga's approaches are also focused on good governance and are guided by their bank's mission according to her.

Climate Change Adaptation and Best Measures on Rural and Agricultural Finance

Mr. Baltazar S. Tribunalo, Jr., Program Manager/Advisor/Coordinator with over 10 years experience in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA), and currently the Head of Cebu's Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) led the discussion on the second topic: the continuous effects of climate change, particularly in the country's rural and agri-finance industry.

The need to practice resilience was highlighted through the 10 factors that were mentioned in his discussion. These factors were: Responsible leadership, Enhancing capacities, Innovative strategies and systems, Legislative support, Information cultivation, Ensuring business continuity, Network building, Communication and advocacy, and Evaluation and documentation.

The session with Mr. Tribunalo stressed on human activities that accelerates climate change. It was emphasized that addressing climate change is one priority for governance and that reducing risk from climate change is a development issue.

Mr. Angelo B. Solarte, Executive Director of Taytay sa Kauswagan, Inc. (TSKI), shared the effects of disasters in TSKI's credit operations and how TSKI was able to recover with the help of the MIDAS disaster response or rehabilitation fund. His presentation showed the damages and losses brought by Super Typhoon Yolanda, Glenda, Ruby and Seniang, on the clients and MFI itself. Rehabilitation initiatives and training initiatives on DRMM were also facilitated. Apart from sharing their practices, TSKI reminded their co-participants of the exposed vulnerability of the agricultural sector to calamities. The head of TSKI recommended that MFIs be adequately covered by crop insurance and by the Agricultural Guarantee Fund Pool (AGFP). He also advised the study on crops that can adapt with the current season, and Awareness-building of the farmers on the huge impact of accelerating climate change.

Brig. Gen. Charles Y. Hotchkiss (Ret.) President of Cantilan Bank, Inc. (CBI) shared their experiences and best practices on climate change adaptation. Similar adaptation strategies were also mentioned while the significant role of RBs in delivering best practices relative to rural and agri-finance namely: Provision of financial literacy courses, Linking financing with agriculture advisory services to farmers, Facilitation of risk transfer through insurance, and Promotion of supply chain linkages to potential buyers were highlighted.

ASEAN Integration in the Context of the Country's Agri-Finance

Mr. Eduardo C. Jimenez, a Microfinance Consultant for the Central Bank of the Philippines, led the discussion on this topic - with focus on policy and regulatory issues affecting the practice of Microfinance and Financial Inclusion.

He discussed financial inclusion and APEC challenges. He defined financial inclusion as a state where there is effective access to a wide range of financial services by all. Rather than emphasizing the readiness of the industry, he advised MFIs to take the immense challenge of embracing financial inclusion, for a more inclusive growth.

At the end of the 3-day event, Mr. Jude Andrada, OIC for Accounts Management and Development Group of NLDC, highlighted the agency's accomplishments in 2014 and the targets and thrusts for 2015.

To end the session, President Amata reiterated the objectives of the Business Forum. She highlighted its value as an opportunity for the conduits to share their innovations and practices from their respective institutions, and as a forum for gathering of feedback to further improve NLDC services. She also expressed her gratitude to the participants who willingly attended the activity which signifies their continuous support and partnership with NLDC. She also proudly shared that 98% of NLDC's target set by the Governance Commission for GOCCs or GCG were accomplished. Her message concluded with the reminder that opportunities already exist and it is with their commitment and willingness that fruitful results will be realized.  



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