RBAP-MABS Program trains more rural banks for Housing Microfinance

HMF training 1Twelve bank officers and staff from four Mindanao-based RBAP-MABS participating rural banks gathered in Cagayan de Oro City on February 16-18 for a 3-day training on Housing Microfinance. Conducted by the USAID-supported RBAP-MABS program, the training provided the participants with the platform and process for designing and adding housing micro loan in their suite of products for microfinance markets.

Of the four banks that underwent the training, two rural banks are both interested in designing and offering a market-driven micro loan product for housing purposes, aiming to do the roll-out within the first semester of this year. The other two banks, on the other hand, are both poised to rollout their existing housing microfinance product to more branches.

The training, which covers phase 1 of the two-phase training course, grounded the participants on the guiding principles and step-by-step approach for developing products. RBAP-MABS trained the participants on the use of market research tools and guided them in an actual field market survey exercise with existing and potential clients in Cagayan de Oro City.  Through this exercise, the participants were able to appreciate the importance of the market survey tool and its application not just in a housing microfinance loan product, but also in any bank product or service.

HMF training 2

The RBAP-MABS Housing Microfinance Initiative

RBAP-MABS’ housing microfinance initiative began in 2008 with four pilot banks initially included in the testing of the MABS Approach for housing. The number of banks and branch units has since then expanded to 7 and 59, respectively, after Circular 678 was issued by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in January 2010.  Since the initiative started, over 2,000 borrowers have already received housing loans amounting to over P80 million primarily for home improvements. The Circular permits banks to lend to microfinance clients up to PhP300,000 with tenor up to 15 years for home or lot acquisition or home construction.