MEMBERS of various Nepal-based microfinance institutions (MFI) recently visited the country to study the microfinance practices and the regulatory system of microfinance in the Philippines. The Centre for Self-help Development (CSD) and the Rural Microfinance Development Centre (RMDC), two organized MFI networks in Kathmandu, were recently in the country to be a part of a week-long exposure visit organized by the Microfinance Council of the Philippines (MCPI).
Part of the exposure trip is a visit to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to understand its role in the microfinance system in the Philippines as a regulatory body.
Tulay sa Pag-unlad, Inc. (TSPI), a member of the MCPI network, assisted the delegates through a study tour in its Taguig branches, as well as visits to the microenterprises in the area. The highlight of the study tour involved the observation of the proceedings during a client center meeting, where the delegates had a chance to interact with clients who are beneficiaries of various programs such as the TSPI Kabuhayan Program, Housing and Sanitation Loan Program, Microinsurance, and Health Care Program.
“The microfinance practices in Nepal and the Philippines are very similar. One major difference I’ve noticed is that Filipinos put prime importance on the education of their children. In Nepal, most people would secure loans for their businesses in order to improve their way of living. In the Philippines, people borrow money because they want to have funds in order to send their children to school,” said Rohit Bhandari, the microfinance chief of Jeevan Bikas Samaj, a member-MFI of the CSD network and a non-governmental organization with the vision of a ‘poverty-free Nepal.’
This observation is one of the realizations for the delegates throughout the trip, aside from making comparisons on center meeting proceedings, branch operations, and lending processes.
Aside from TSPI, the delegates also had an opportunity to visit other MFIs that are also members of the MCPI network.
The text and photos in this article were provided by Ms. Joanne G. Fajardo, TSPI’s Marketing Communications Supervisor.