In celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc. (MCPI), key microfinance stakeholders convened during the 2019 MCPI Annual Conference held on July 25-26, 2019 at Manila Prince Hotel, Ermita, Manila. The event was attended by 630 microfinance institutions, funders, government institutions, donors, investors, and other developmental organizations that actively participated in the discussions related to this year’s theme Transforming Microfinance through Digitalization and how developments in the microfinance sector over the past two decades will serve stakeholders in the next two decades.
The two-day conference had three session tracks – Digitalization, Improving Systems and Processes, and MFI Exchange. The digitalization track focused on discussions on how digital technology is transforming financial systems and how MFIs can be pro-active in embracing technology to provide more opportunities for microentrepreneurs, while the Improving Systems and Processes and MFI Exchange tracks enabled participants to learn from the experiences of other MFIs in areas such as succession planning and business continuity, developing strategic partnerships, and retaining staff and clients. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Kelvin Lester Lee led the oath taking of the newly-elected MCPI Board of Trustees for 2019 – 2020. (From left) SEC Commissioner Lee, Mr. Eduardo C. Jimenez, Mr. Rolando B. Victoria, Ms. Marilyn M. Manila, Mr. Nilo Cellon (representing Mr. Kamrul H. Tarafder), Ms. Ma. Theresa G. Catipay, Ms. Suzzette D. Gaston, Mr. Angelo B. Solarte, Ms. Maros P. Apostol, Fr. Jose Victor E. Lobrigo, and Mr. Allan Robert I. Sicat.
In his keynote message, Commissioner Kelvin Lester Lee of the Securities and Exchange Commission said, “It is not enough to develop fintech itself. It is crucial to take on the digital financial inclusion challenge as a means, not just an end. It should be a way to reduce cost, broaden and deepen the scale of outreach to achieve universal financial inclusion and realize technology’s promise in the context of responsible finance in which client protection and the social mission takes on a greater urgency.”
During the opening plenary, key microfinance stakeholders presented current developments and strategies in promoting digitalization in the microfinance scene, and how this innovation will enhance the sector’s efficiency and better serve the unbanked. Experts in digitalization also shared their experiences and lessons learned in digital transformation. Moreover, digital technologies, such as cloud software and mobile applications were introduced. Participants were guided on the accreditation of the Microfinance NGO Regulatory Council (MNRC) and compliance with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Credit Information System Act.
Preceding the conference, MCPI organized two pre-conference events in July 24, 2019 – the Orientation Seminar for Microfinance NGOs on the Truth in Lending Act, Data Privacy and Credit Information System Act; and the Microfinance Client Summit – the first of its kind in MCPI’s 20 years, dedicated to the clients of different MFIs.
Members of the Board of Trustees were elected during the Annual General Meeting of Members held on July 24, 2019. During the conference, members of the board took their oath of office: Mr. Eduardo C. Jimenez of Kabalikat para sa Maunlad na Buhay, Inc. as Chairperson; Mr. Rolando B. Victoria of Alalay Sa Kaunlaran, Inc. as Vice-Chairperson; Mr. Josef M. Leron of CARD, Inc. as Corporate Secretary; Mr. Kamrul H. Tarafder of ASA Philippines Foundation as Treasurer; Ms. Ma. Teresa G. Catipay of RAFI Micro-finance, Inc. as Internal Auditor; Fr. Jose Victor Lobrigo of SEDP-Simbag sa Pag-asenso, Inc., Mr. Angelo B. Solarte of Taytay Sa Kauswagan, Inc., Ms. Suzzette Gaston of Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, Inc., and Ms. Ma. Rosario Apostol of Community Economic Ventures, Inc. as Members. The Trustees will serve until July 2020.
Presentations during the 2019 Annual Conference can be downloaded here.