The 2nd Digital Financial Inclusion Awards (DFIA) will again recognize the country’s outstanding microfinance institutions (MFIs) and microentrepreneurs for their achievements in digitalization. The DFIA is a financial inclusion program funded by Citi Foundation, in partnership with the Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc. (MCPI) and supported by the Bangko ng Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).The virtual launch of the program was led by BSP Governor Felipe M. Medalla, Citi Philippines Chief Executive Officer Paul A. Favila, and MCPI Chairperson Gilbert S. Maramba.
“This awards program gives us the venue to highlight our inclusive digital finance agenda and microfinance advocacy. Not to mention, all the inspiring stories that we saw and heard when the awards were given,” said BSP Governor Felipe Medalla.
MFI winners will be chosen based on the types of digital solutions they have adopted, measurable results on the use of digital solutions, and institutional/client benefits of digitalization. Meanwhile, microentrepreneurs will be nominated by the MFIs based on their success stories as microentrepreneurs, the types of digital solutions used, and measurable results on the use of digital solutions. The National Selection Committee is composed of representatives from the government, business sector, media, and academia, and is co-chaired by heads of the BSP and Citi Philippines. They will select four MFIs and twenty microentrepreneurs as Digital Champions for the 2nd DFIA. The program includes learning exchanges and technical assistance for MFIs as part of MCPI’s awareness and readiness campaign.
“Citi and Citi Foundation are committed to investing in financial inclusion initiatives that help create economically vibrant and resilient communities,” said Citi Philippines CEO Paul Favila. “The DFIA supports the financial inclusion objectives of the government and empowers low-income individuals to become financially independent. The program is focused on strengthening financial inclusion through digitalization in Philippine microfinance.”
The program aims to inspire other microentrepreneurs and MFIs to embark on their own digitalization journey that will ultimately lead to business growth and livelihood opportunities for many Filipinos.
“Digitalization played a big role in the survival of MFI clients and the microfinance sector during the early months of the pandemic. Aside from using digital platforms for loan disbursements and collection, we were able to provide non-financial services to clients such as training and telemedicine through digital technologies,” said MCPI Chairperson Gilbert Maramba.
The DFIA program is an evolution of the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards that enables Citi Foundation and MCPI to continue raising awareness about the importance of microentrepreneurship and microfinance in supporting the financial inclusion and economic empowerment of low-income individuals.
About Citi Foundation:
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation.
About the Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc. (MCPI)
The Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc. (MCPI) evolved out of a USAID-funded project entitled “Developing Standards for Microfinance Project” (DSMP) that started in mid-1996 and continued until the end of 1999. MFIs that were part of the DSMP decided to form an association or network and the resulting organization, MCPI, was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a non-stock corporation in June 1999.
As of December 2022, MCPI is comprised of 64 members (52 MFIs, 2 regional networks, and 10 support organizations) which account for 90 percent of the microfinance sector in the Philippines. Its key programs include advocacy, capacity building for MFIs, social performance management and client protection in microfinance, knowledge management, and network development. Additional information may be found at https://microfinancecouncil.org | Facebook: www.facebook.com/MicrofinanceCouncil