March 26, 2019
SAN PABLO CITY – CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI), led by its founder Dr. Jaime Aristotle B. Alip joined by its key leaders and CARD-MRI Development Institute Students, participated in the 2019 Social Business Youth Summit on March 23, 2019 at the De La Salle-College of St. Benilde, Manila.
Dr. Alip opened the breakout session entitled Microfinance Forum. He shared the contribution of MFIs in the fight against poverty in the Philippines.
“As microfinance institutions, we are tasked to ensure that more Filipinos have access to financial services. One Filipino family with access to finance is one family moved out of the poverty line. This is our duty to fulfill. This is our mandate as catalysts for social change and our contribution to the eradication of poverty,” he said.
Nobel Peace Prize Awardee – Professor Muhammad Yunus is the keynote speaker of the Microfinance Forum. He said that in microfinance nobody should have personal gain. As what he espouses in all his years of working in micro credit and microfinance, the ultimate goal is zero poverty. “Poverty should be in the museums,” he reiterated.
Speaking before Professor Yunus are Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Managing Director Pia Bernadette Roman Tayag and Microfinance Council of the Philippines Chairperson Fr. Jose Victor Lobrigo both sharing the contribution of MFIs in the country as it evolves.
Tayag said that BSP will not stand in the way of MFIs to reach more poor Filipinos but through proper governance and strict implementation of policies adding that BSP will also enable technologies that will ensure its success.
Meanwhile, Fr. Lobrigo not only highlighted the evolution of MFIs in the country but also identified challenges it faces now and in the future especially the smaller MFIs in the country.
One critical part of the forum, with Dr. Alip as the discussion catalyst, is the panel discussion on the integration of social business with MFI movement.
Panelists Professor Yunus, CARD MRI Managing Director Flordeliza Sarmiento, Taytay sa Kauswagan (TSKI) Chairman Angel de Leon, Jr., Dungganon Bank, Inc. President Corazon Henares, and ASA Philippines Senior Director Maria Regina Pacifico all shared that integration is possible since MFIs are already doing social businesses within its institutions and through the institutions it created.
Professor Yunus said that the seven principles of social business must be implemented in the way of doing business. He shared that in order to prevent one from being greedy, a social business audit must be done regularly and secure a social business certificate every year.
The 2019 SBYS, which is a two-day event, is the leading youth forum where youth across borders get the exclusive opportunity to learn from and interact with experts in the field of social business.
About 400 delegates from the Asia Pacific Region gathered for the said event. The said summit also opened more doors for MFIs to be known as a tool for the eradication of poverty in the country and how it integrates with social business.
This is the 6th edition of SBYS, which showed the continuous global commitment of the youth in connecting with social business and in achieving the “Three Zeroes” - Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment, and Zero Net Carbon Emissions.