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MERCATUS 2005-01: Microfinance in Action: The Philippine Experience

This Policy Comment explores the ability of microfinance to assist the very poor in the developing world by examining the lessons from the implementation of microfinance programs in the Philippines. These lessons are: * Microfinance has become a 'viable option' only because of a poorly functioning institutional environment; * Microfinance is working reasonably well as a band-aid solution to poverty, i.e. it puts food on the table; * Microfinance is not providing a bridge to sustainable development because it fails to address the root causes of poverty. As such, microfinance borrowers fall short of graduating (i.e. entering the formal economy), which should be the ultimate goal of microfinance. In order for microfinance to become a bridge to a sustainable solution, institutional reforms are necessary. In the case of the Philippines, from which important lessons can be drawn for other developing countries, these reforms are: * The removal of discriminatory laws, which disenfranchise generations of people; * The absolute need to recognize, codify and enforce property rights; * Reduction in the scope of government activity in order to reduce corruption, and; * Increased liberalization of the financial sector.

PinoyME Foundation
Authors Keywords
Daley, Stephen; Sautet, Frederick; microfinance; microfinance institutions;
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Published in 2005 and available in the Mercatus Center or can be downloaded as full text Downloaded 763 times since November 25, 2011