The policy forum gathered experts from institutions that provide financial services to the rural poor to discuss the prevailing best practices in microbanking and micro-insurance and present inputs that will enhance delivery of financial services to the rural poor particularly small farmers and fisherfolk.

MBOs and micro-insurance, along with loan guarantee and value-chain financing, are regarded as among the more sustainable models of pro-poor rural financial services in the Philippines.

The concept of MBOs and how this helped them increase outreach to achieve financial inclusion was discussed during the forum by the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI), Cooperative Bank of Misamis Oriental (CBMO), Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). Financial inclusion is the provision of affordable financial services to marginalized sectors of the economy.

On the other hand, the policy dialogue on micro-insurance discussed ways of encouraging the development of microinsurance products suited to small farmers and fisherfolk. Invited resource persons from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC), the Department of Finance (DoF), Microinsurance MBA Association of the Philippines, GM Bank of Luzon, and BUTIL Party-list shared their experiences, programs and products, and measures/strategy undertaken in the development of microinsurance.

Executive Director Jovita M. Corpuz, in her welcome message, said that 53 percent of farmers and fisherfolk are already borrowing from formal financial institutions as of 2015. In 2007, this was at 51.7 percent. However, she reminded everyone that the challenge is still the limited access to formal credit.

The policy forum also featured keynote messages from international guest speakers such as Dr. Prasun Kumar Das, Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA) Project Manager of the International Fund Agricultural Development (IFAD) project “Documenting Global Best Practices on Sustainable Models of Pro-Poor Rural Financial Services in Developing Countries” and Dr. William D. Dar, former Director General of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and former Agriculture Secretary.

In their respective presentations, Dr. Dar highlighted the importance of financing as a key ingredient in promoting inclusive growth, while Dr. Das called for scaling up of sustainable models of pro-poor financial services.

The policy forum was divided in two sessions: 1) Microbanking Organizations and Other Baking Organizations (facilitated by ACPC Deputy Executive Director Jocelyn Alma R. Badiola), and 2) Development of Microinsurance for the Rural Poor (facilitated by ACPC Deputy Executive Director Ramon C. Yedra).

Attended by 107 participants representing officers of financial institutions (rural/cooperative banks), DA-RFO 7 Regional Executive Director Angel C. Enriquez, DA-RFO for Negros Island Region Regional Executive Director Renato P. Manantan, DA-RFO 10 Regional Executive Director Lealyn A. Ramos, and DA-RFO 13 Regional Executive Director Edna M. Mabeza and representatives of other DA Regional Field Offices and bureaus/attached agencies, non-government organizations/people’s organizations, farmer organizations and associations, media, and other government agencies/institutions (DoF, Philippine Institute for Development Studies, Agricultural Guarantee Fund Pool, National Livelihood Development Corporation, National Economic Development Authority).

Regional Agri-Credit Desk Officers (RACDOs), ACPC’s partner in the regions, also attended the forum. They are DA-Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) Florenda Pedro, DA-Region I’s Ma. Cristine De Leon, DA-Region II’s Vivien Delos Santos, DA-Region III’s William Valdez, DA-Region IV-A’s Teofista Garcia, DA-Region IV-B’s Nida San Juan, DA-Region V’s Ma. Adelina Losa, DA-Region VI’s Teresa Solis, DA-Region VII’s Gerry Avila, DA-Region IX’s Ferdinand Gamorot, DA-Region X’s Chedy Ansale, DA-Region XI’s Janet Dobli, and DA-Region XIII’s Clarence Malbasias.

The policy forum is part of the activities lined up to celebrate ACPC’s 30 years of enhancing credit delivery to small farmers and fisherfolk.

Participating Agencies: “ACPC Policy Forum on Micro Banking and Micro-Insurance for the Rural Poor in the Philippines”
Inang Lupa Movement International Fund Agricultural Development–Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (IFAD-APRACA)
Agricultural Guarantee Fund Pool (AGFP) Center for Agriculture and Rural Development Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI)
Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)
Department of Finance (DoF) Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC)
GM Bank of Luzon Microinsurance MBA Association of the Philippines
BUTIL Party-list Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS)
Insurance Commission National Economic Development Authority (NEDA)
Philippine Carabao Center National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC)
WIBI Mindanao Project APRACA–Center for Training and Research in Agricultural Banking (APRACA-CENTRAB)
House of Representatives DA Regional Field Office (DA-RFO) Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)
DA-RFO Negros Island Region DA-RFO IX
DA-Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (DA-AMAS) CAR DA-AMAS I
Philippine Postal Bank Bukidnon Cooperative Bank
Cooperative Bank of Batangas Cooperative Bank of Bohol
Cooperative Bank of Cagayan Cooperative Bank of Cotabato
Cooperative Bank of Ilocos Norte Cooperative Bank of Misamis Oriental
Cooperative Bank of Negros Oriental Cooperative Bank of Nueva Vizcaya
Cooperative Bank of Quezon Province First Isabela Cooperative Bank
Ilocos Sur Cooperative Bank Negros Cooperative Bank
Network Consolidated Cooperative Bank Occidental Mindoro Cooperative Bank
Tulay sa Kauswagan, Inc. Seeds and Fruits Multi-Purpose Cooperative
Kalasag Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC)
Alalay sa Kaunlaran, Inc. Coalition for Agriculture Modernization in the Philippines, Inc.
Damayan ng mga Manggagawa, Magsasaka at Mangingisda sa Bansa Business World
Malaya Business Insight DZEC
DA-Press Office

The Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) conducted a “Policy Forum on Micro-Banking Offices (MBOs) and Micro-Insurance for the Rural Poor in the Philippines” at the Novotel Manila in Cubao, Quezon City on 28 April 2016