RBAP, MCPI and ACCION International unite for Microfinance Consumer Protection

Photo shows: (from the top) ACCION International Center for Financial Inclusion Senior Fellow and Head of the Beyond Codes Project, Heather Clark; RBAP President Tomas Gomez IV; and MCPI Executive Director Edgardo Garcia.

The Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP), Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (MABS), Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc. (MCPI) and ACCION International recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together in protecting the rights and welfare of financial institutions’ microfinance clients.

The MOU signing on June 19 formalizes the cooperation between the four organizations to undertake the “Beyond Codes” action research project. This project aims to collect information on the consumer protection codes of conduct and their implementation in selected countries, including the Philippines. Through these information and experiences, the project will develop a consensus of pro-consumer best practices to be promoted worldwide.

A private non-profit organization, ACCION International aims to provide financial assistance to the poor who want to work their way out of poverty. With 35 partner microfinance organizations in Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the Caribbean, ACCION has already loaned more than $23.4 billion to over 6.2 million people since 1998. As a microfinance organization, it also provides business trainings and financial services to poor people, helping them start their own businesses and move up the economic ladder.

RBAP’s participation in the “Beyond Codes” project will be implemented through the MABS Program. Supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the MABS Program assists rural banks in developing their capacity to profitably provide banking services to microentrepreneurs. It works with a number of partners, among which is the MCPI, a network of 45 institutions working towards the rapid development of the microfinance industry in the Philippines. These institutions include non-government organizations (NGOs), microfinance-oriented rural banks, and a thrift bank.

Photo shows: (left to right) Incoming RBAP President Joseph Omar Andaya; RBAP-MABS Project Consultant Feliciano Belizario; Incoming RBAP Corporate Secretary Gregory De Guzman; MCPI Executive Director Edgardo Garcia; ACCION International Center for Financial Inclusion Senior Fellow and Head of the Beyond Codes Project, Heather Clark; RBAP President Tomas Gomez IV; and MABS Research and Monitoring Coordinator Eulogio Masilungan.

Photo shows: (left to right) Incoming RBAP President Joseph Omar Andaya; RBAP-MABS Project Consultant Feliciano Belizario; Incoming RBAP Corporate Secretary Gregory De Guzman; MCPI Executive Director Edgardo Garcia; ACCION International Center for Financial Inclusion Senior Fellow and Head of the Beyond Codes Project, Heather Clark; RBAP President Tomas Gomez IV; and MABS Research and Monitoring Coordinator Eulogio Masilungan.