Philippine Standard time

Small Loans, Big Returns

The paper reports the emergence of rural banks in the Philippines to provide microfinance services. The paper informs that in the Philippines: * Rural banks employ the Grameen Bank Approach (GBA), * Rural banks working as GBA replicators provide loans to nearly 150,000 ultra poor families. The Government of the Philippines, with support of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), International Fund for Agricultural Development, GBA replicators, and beneficiaries, has started a six year microfinance project to: * Support new replicator branches, ongoing GBA operations and training of GBA branch managers and field staff, * Provide credit to GBA replicators for on lending to the poor. The paper further refers to the BMS Rural Bank, one of the 140 conduits that are qualified to conduct microfinance for the poor in the Philippines, and informs that: * BMS has more than 1600 women clients, * Revenue from microfinance accounts for 10 percent of the total revenue of the bank, * BMS works at maintaining discipline amongst borrowers through frequent group value formation and training activities. Finally, the paper mentions that rural banks have shown the way in the Philippines in microfinance and through the implementation of GBA have: * Helped the members in improving their lives, * Encouraged members to make voluntary savings in addition to compulsory savings, * Provided micro credit for expansion of microenterprise, * Led to increased employment of more poor people.


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