MABS holds 2009 RBAP-MABS National Roundtable Conference

USAID/Philippines Office of Economic Development & Governance Chief Christian Hougen delivered the opening remarks in the 2009 RBAP-MABS National Roundtable Conference held at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino in Manila on May 12 and 13, 2009.

USAID/Philippines Office of Economic Development & Governance Chief Christian Hougen delivered the opening remarks in the 2009 RBAP-MABS National Roundtable Conference held at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino in Manila on May 12 and 13, 2009.

One hundred and five rural bankers from 46 MABS participating banks gathered at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino in Manila on May 12 and 13, 2009 for the 2009 RBAP-MABS National Roundtable Conference.

Joining the bankers in this conference were representatives from MABS’ partner organizations and private sectors, including the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Globe Telecom, G-Xchange Inc. (GXI), Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCo), Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX), Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP), United States Embassy, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Fostering the theme, “Opportunities in Microfinance amidst the Global Financial Crisis”, these bankers conferred on the status of the MABS program and its plans for the 2009 and 2010, opportunities amidst the crisis, monitoring the banks’ overall and microfinance performance, managing human resources, organizational best practices, staying on top of loan administration and collection, new microfinance products and services that banks can take advantage of, and new technologies that banks can use to improve their outreach and efficiency, all through the insightful presentations from its resource speakers and panelists from MABS’ partner organizations, private sectors, and rural banks.

Among the guest speakers and presenters were USAID/Philippines Office of Economic Development & Governance Chief Christian Hougen, who delivered the opening remarks; MIX Market Regional Manager for Asia Elizabeth Larson; MicroEnsure International President/CEO Richard Leftley; IPA Philippine Country Director Tomoko Harigaya; MyClick Technologies Inc. President Mel Yuson; Altus Communications President John Quimbo; Regional Trial Court Judge Maria Filomena Singh; GXI President Paolo Baltao and BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr., who delivered the keynote address.

In his keynote address, BSP Governor Amando Tetangco stressed that despite the global economic crisis that has affected several countries and businesses around the world, the Philippines remains resilient compared with its neighbors. According to him, even though risks remain, the Philippines shall survive with its sound and stable banking system. He added that banks should become more proactive than reactive and look at this crisis as an opportune time to push for reforms.

On the night of the conference’s first day was the awarding of the EAGLE Achievement Award to outstanding MABS participating banks. This year’s awardees were GM Bank, Rural Bank of Sto. Tomas and Rural Bank of Oroquieta.

The annual RBAP-MABS National Roundtable Conference is an event that gathers RBAP-MABS participating banks from all regions to share and exchange experiences on microfinance best practices and innovations, and to provide a face-to-face discussion with each bank on its microfinance performance through the EAGLE report card. This year’s national roundtable conference is the sixth since the tradition started in 2003.