Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. highlights new vision of microfinance

By: Eric Miller, guest blogger

Once again, RBAP-MABS held a successful National Roundtable Conference at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino in Manila. Over 140 rural bankers and other private sector partners joined RBAP-MABS to discuss the latest trends, challenges and innovations in microfinance this year.
Over the next few weeks, we will be providing a brief overview of each session through this blog in order to continue these intriguing conversations. We encourage that you read, stay engaged, and react to our postings.
We were honored to have Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) as our keynote speaker. (You can read the full text of his speech at the following link – http://www.bsp.gov.ph/publications/speeches.asp?id=379&yr.) Governor Tetangco started off by bringing us back to a time when microfinance was just about microcredit mainly provided by NGOs and cooperatives. Now, microfinance has expanded to savings products, micro-agri loans, microinsurance and housing microfinance. These services are increasingly being provided by the rural banking system.
Addressing the advancement of technology in microfinance, Governor Tetangco said, “Who could have imagined…that in just a few years…clients can pay their loans, make withdrawals or deposits using their mobile phones and a simple text message?” This technology is increasing efficiency and lowering costs for the banks and their clients.
The support of the BSP has helped the microfinance industry in the Philippines grow into what it is today. Recent BSP circulars have expanded microfinance service offerings and introduced credit ratings into the industry. “At the same time, we are reviewing our earlier regulations that define microfinance and microfinance loans. As I mentioned earlier, much has changed in the practice of microfinance and we want our regulations to be in step with the times,” said Governor Tetangco “Our objective is to craft regulations that will enable microfinance practitioners to provide services to an even wider range of clients and to deliver financial services to more unserved markets… including those who fall in the so-called “gray area” of microfinance who need loans above P 150,000.00.” He also raised the importance of financial education and consumer protection, and told the crowd that he is working to strengthen BSP’s programs in these areas.
The Governor ended his address with a cautionary, yet optimistic tone. “For as long as more than 30 million Filipinos still live in poverty, we cannot…and should not…be complacent,” he declared. “I believe…for microfinance, the best is yet to come.”
The RBAP-MABS team thanks the Governor for being a part of the Roundtable Conference and for all the important work BSP has contributed to the microfinance industry.
Just how the Governor opened his keynote address, we ask you to think about the time when microfinance was merely about microcredit. How have you viewed the transformation of the industry? What are your thoughts about broadening the definition of microfinance? Share your thoughts and stories by replying to this post.
Until next time, Mabuhay ang Rural Bankers! Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!

Amando Tetangco_2Once again, RBAP-MABS held a successful National Roundtable Conference at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino in Manila. Over 140 rural bankers and other private sector partners joined RBAP-MABS to discuss the latest trends, challenges and innovations in microfinance this year.

Over the next few weeks, we will be providing a brief overview of each session through this blog in order to continue these intriguing conversations. We encourage that you read, stay engaged, and react to our postings.

We were honored to have Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) as our keynote speaker. (Click to read the full text of his speech.) Governor Tetangco started off by bringing us back to a time when microfinance was just about microcredit mainly provided by NGOs and cooperatives. Now, microfinance has expanded to savings products, micro-agri loans, microinsurance and housing microfinance. These services are increasingly being provided by the rural banking system.


Addressing the advancement of technology in microfinance, Governor Tetangco said, “Who could have imagined…that in just a few years…clients can pay their loans, make withdrawals or deposits using their mobile phones and a simple text message?” This technology is increasing efficiency and lowering costs for the banks and their clients.

The support of the BSP has helped the microfinance industry in the Philippines grow into what it is today. Recent BSP circulars have expanded microfinance service offerings and introduced credit ratings into the industry. “At the same time, we are reviewing our earlier regulations that define microfinance and microfinance loans. As I mentioned earlier, much has changed in the practice of microfinance and we want our regulations to be in step with the times,” said Governor Tetangco “Our objective is to craft regulations that will enable microfinance practitioners to provide services to an even wider range of clients and to deliver financial services to more unserved markets… including those who fall in the so-called “gray area” of microfinance who need loans above P 150,000.00.” He also raised the importance of financial education and consumer protection, and told the crowd that he is working to strengthen BSP’s programs in these areas.

The Governor ended his address with a cautionary, yet optimistic tone. “For as long as more than 30 million Filipinos still live in poverty, we cannot…and should not…be complacent,” he declared. “I believe…for microfinance, the best is yet to come.”

The RBAP-MABS team thanks the Governor for being a part of the Roundtable Conference and for all the important work BSP has contributed to the microfinance industry.

Just how the Governor opened his keynote address, we ask you to think about the time when microfinance was merely about microcredit. How have you viewed the transformation of the industry? What are your thoughts about broadening the definition of microfinance? Share your thoughts and stories by replying to this post.

Until next time, Mabuhay ang Rural Bankers! Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!