December 09, 2013
ASKI bags 1st Paeng Microfinance Awards for its Community Development strategy
CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija- The Rafael B. Buenaventura Microfinance Resource Center Foundation confers to Alalay Sa Kaunlaran, Inc. (ASKI) based in this city the most outstanding microfinance institution (MFI) for its innovation employing Community Development program as strategy in the 1st Paeng Microfinance Awards held at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on November 27, 2013.

With the theme, “Microfinance Partnerships during Challenging Times”, the awarding was one of the highlights of the Microfinance Week where five MFIs were recognized for their pioneering work in the microfinance industry.

According to the Paeng award organizers, the pioneering work can be “typified either as a product, service or delivery mechanism that has been refined or innovated and introduced for the first time or, it can refer to the MFI’s entry into new or remote areas and making access available to target community/clients that had never been served by microfinance.”

ASKI entered its Community Development program as its project entry being a new innovation introduced to its beneficiaries.

The program was born in 2002 because ASKI realized that aside from microfinance there are still other ways of helping the poor to become self-reliant and self-sufficient productive individuals.

Working in communities which are oftentimes excluded in the different programs of the government due to economic, geographical and cultural factors is one of the biggest challenges to ASKI.

In this program, ASKI uses a participatory, transformational, and community-driven approach. ComDev complements the loan service program with the value formation at the heart of the program for them to become responsible and effective entrepreneurs.

ComDev affirms the capacity of the community to craft and pursue its own development. Key to this is the belief that each member of the community matters and when each member decides and starts to work together- everything becomes possible.

Since its inception, ASKI ComDev program focuses on strengthening the poor by providing interventions like organizing, capacity building, community projects and business development to different sectors-indigenous peoples, farmers, women, youth and children.

This approach gets the affirmation of the Board of Judges including the field validation conducted by Meliza H. Agabin, deputy chief of party of the Micro Access to Banking Services in September 2012.

Aside from ASKI, declared winners were Kasagana Ka Development Corporation Inc., Tulay Sa Pag-Unlad Inc., FAIR Bank Inc., and Cantilan Bank Inc. As winners, according to the organizer, the RBB Foundation will provide technical assistance consisting of a wide range of areas and tailor fit to the needs of the winning MFIs with the view to improving and strengthening their capacity to become commercially sustainable.

The award is in honor of former BSP Governor Rafael “Paeng” B. Buenaventura who is a staunch advocate of microfinance. During his term as Governor from 1999 to 2005, he accomplished key policy reforms which included the extensive adoption of microfinance in the local financial system benefitting the microfinance industry in the country.
ASKI Executive Director Rolando B. Victoria (3rd from left) receives the Plaque of Recognition as winner of the 1st Paeng Microfinance Award from (left-right) RBB Foundation Executive Director Lorenzo Tan, BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr., Sen. Sergio Osmena, CARD Inc. Executive Director Aristotle Alip, RBB Board of Trustees Antonino L. Alindogan, Jr., and Cesar Buenaventura
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