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PIA Press Release

P6 billion released to women clients of micro-finance, says BSP official

by T. Villavert

Iloilo City (18 November) -- Some P6 billion-fund were released to the women clients of microfinance as of June this year said Microfinance Consultant Eduardo C. Jimenez of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in a forum held in Iloilo City, recently.

Jimenez, who discussed on the topic Microfinance said that about 95% of microfinance clients in the country come from the women sector.

"Helping the poor help themselves" is the essence of microfinancing, said Jimenez as he explained that microfinance is the provision of a broad range of financial services such as deposits, loans, payment services, money transfers/remittances and insurance products to the poor and low-income households for their microenterprises and small businesses, to enable them to raise their income levels and improve their living standards.

He said that clients come from the low income bracket, lack of physical collateral, are usually employed in the informal sector, and are engaged in closely interlinked household/business activities.

Presently, Jimenez said, there are some 229 Rural Banks in the country that are involved in Microfinance.

The BSP has undertaken several measures to encourage the participation of banks in microfinance, Jimenez said.

Among other measures, BSP Circular 272, issued in early 2001, laid down the guidelines to implement the provisions of the General Banking Law of 2000 on microfinance operations. Through Circular 273, BSP lifted the moratorium on the issuance of licenses for the opening of new thrift and rural banks, as well as branches for existing banks, to encourage banking institutions to venture into microfinance.

Aside from policy and regulatory aspects, the BSP has undertaken significant initiatives for training and capacity building as well as promotion and advocacy.

Jimenez, along with the other BSP representatives were in Iloilo City to conduct "Public Information Campaign on the Role of the BSP in the Philippine Economy" at the West Visayas State University which was participated in by the students and officials of the said University.

The other BSP lecturers with their topics were: Ma. Farah C. Diangson-Angka, Deputy Director of the OMD-Monetary Policy Sub-Sector- Role of the BSP in the Philippine Economy; and Amy Doreen S. Cruz, Bank Officer V, Department of Economic Research- Recent Economic Developments. (PIA 6) [top]

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