Six Micro Banks Set to Operate in 2013

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The first six Micro Banking Offices (MBO) of the Philippine Postal Savings Bank are scheduled to open in December 2013 in selected unbanked and underserved locations in Luzon.  They represent the first batch of micro banks to be established in the Philippine countryside to provide access to financial services and in the process lead to the creation of livelihood opportunities and mobilize local savings.

The six micro banks will open on a pilot basis in the following locations:

Unbanked Areas:

  • Malinao, Albay
  • Bula, Camarines Sur
  • Bombon, Camarines Sur

Underserved Areas:

  • Mapandan, Pangasinan
  • Binmaley, Pangasinan
  • Bacacay, Albay

These sites were selected based on the following:

  • the market potential of the municipality and the immediate vicinity for microfinance services
  • the presence of a Postbank branch for ease of control and supervision
  • the acceptability of the micro bank by various sectors and stakeholders, including the local officials, potential clients, community leaders, and the public in general
  • prevailing peace and order situation conducive to the conduct of business
  • connectivity facilities for data transmission
  • weather and environmental conditions.

The performance of these MBOs will be monitored over a period of three to six months and the evaluation shall be used as inputs in establishing the succeeding MBOs.

The products and services to be offered include the following:

  • Provide micro finance loans, giving priority to livelihood activities
  • Accept micro deposits and service withdrawals
  • Accept check deposits and service withdrawals
  • Sell and service micro insurance products
  • Receive/pay out funds in connection with authorized remittance transactions
  • Collect premiums/payout benefits from/to micro finance clients who are members of government institutions such as GSIS, Philhealth, SSS, ECC and other pension/benefit systems.

Organizationally, the present Postbank management team will oversee the implementation of the program.  A Program Director, Mr. Benjamin Montemayor, has been recruited to oversee its operation.  Mr. Montemayor has had considerable experience in the introduction and management of microfinance in the Philippines and Africa.  For his successes in the field, he has been the recipient of the President Cory Aquino award for Micro Finance.

Each MBO will have two personnel:  a) a general staff who shall perform tellering functions, and b) a loan assistant who will undergo a four week marketing and administration course which is being developed in-house for this purpose.

For the proposed six MBOs, two supervisors will be assigned, one for the Bicol area managing 4 MBOs and the other for Pangasinan with 2 MBOs.

These personnel will be under the administrative supervision of the Manager of the Postbank branch in the area.