SIXTEEN members of the CFPA Microfinance Management Ltd. (CFPAMF), a microfinance institution based in Beijing, China, visited the country to conduct insight visits with various local MFIs in the Philippines. The delegation was composed of selected managers and supervisors from its pool of branch personnel, engaged in branch operations, training, customer service, and information technology.
Tulay sa Pag-unlad, Inc. (TSPI) assisted the Chinese delegation in an exposure visit in its Antipolo branch, where they were able to observe branch processes including actual branch operations, account and client management, and microinsurance policies.
One of the highlights of their exposure visit was the opportunity to interact with TSPI clients who are beneficiaries of its various loan programs for agriculture and microenterprise. The delegation visited food vendor Aida de Guzman, a client of the Tanay branch and beneficiary of the TSPI Maunlad Program (TMP), during her day-to-day operations at the public market.
CFPAMF delegates also visited the farmland of TSPI Programang Pang-agrikultura client Carlito Victorio. CFPAMF, like TSPI, is highly-engaged in agri-lending programs.
The 16 delegates were able to study the similarities of TSPI’s microfinance processes to China’s policies. Some of the Chinese delegates noted, however, the difference in capacity-building programs of MFIs in the Philippines compared with that of China.
“Most of the client-farmers are interested in the financial lending aspect of the program. Filipinos are more open to receive trainings such as livelihood seminars to increase their knowledge and help grow their enterprises,” said Sun Xiaolin, CFPAMF’s Training Center Manager.
Microentrepreneur Mercedita Betita, a TMP client engaged in the trading business also welcomed the Chinese delegation to discuss daily operations as an agent of TxtBilis, TSPI’s digital financial services system. Nanay Mercedita also shared her experiences as a Project Bloom stockpoint. Project Bloom is an enterprise development program geared towards providing microenterprises access to a wholesale business opportunity with a multinational confectionary company of consumer goods such as candy, chewing gum, and chocolates, allowing access to subsidized prices to help small entrepreneurs increase their income.
CFPAMF also visited other MFIs who are also engaged in agri-lending, during their week-long exposure trip. It was the Chinese delegation’s first time in the Philippines.
Text and photos by Joanne G. Fajardo of Enterprise Development Services.