Philippines: More Microfinancing Access for Mindanao’s Poorest Provinces Urged

Apr. 17, 2007

The government has asked the microfinance sector to widen the access the marginalized sector to credit windows by expanding their operations in the 10 poorest provinces of Mindanao.

Secretary Domingo F. Panganiban, lead convenor of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) has urged the nations microfinance institution to help reduce poverty in Mindanao by expanding their operations in the countryside.

He said small businesses make up 92 percent of the countrys enterprises but these are relegated to the lower end of the microfinance market due to a lack of public information and policy and logistical constraints.

During the Mindanao Microfinance Council (MMF) annual general meeting on April 12 in Davao City, Panganiban said too many in the island-regions remote and troubled areas have no access to credit facilities that could otherwise improve lives and diminish social discontent.

I urged the Mindanao Microfinance Council (MMC) to expand their operations in the provinces in the island where 33 of the 47 towns have no microfinance services, he said.

He said no microfinance services are situation within Mindanaos frontiers even as he said that seven of the ten poorest provinces in the country are found in the island-region.

The Secretary has proposed to establish microfinance services directly in the ten poorest provinces as indicated in the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) survey of 2003.

The ten poor provinces are Zamboanga del Norte, Masbate, Maguindanao, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Mountain Province, Lanao del Norte, Camarines Norte, Sanranggani and Zamboanga Sibugay. (PIA XI/prixdbanzon)

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