To better serve the needs of the rural folk, Bangko Mabuhay has established partnerships with various international and local institutions.
Its partnership with Economic Resource Center for Overseas Filipinos (ERCOF), a Europe-based non-profit organization with partner groups and focal persons in Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Japan, as well as various service providers in the Philippines, has provided the much-needed link between overseas Filipino workers and banking services that include savings and investment mechanisms, access to micro-credit institutions, skills and entrepreneurship training and other skills that will enhance their economic capabilities.
The forged link which involves the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP), the Philippines’ largest rural bank federation with at least 700 member rural banks, is deemed to best serve the needs of Filipinos working overseas since studies show that two-thirds of OFWs come from rural areas.
Being the premiere community-based bank in Cavite, Bangko Mabuhay provides the fruits of this welcome merger to Caviteño OFWs. Possible areas of collaboration between ERCOF and Bangko Mabuhay include:
- Opening of accounts
- Servicing of remittances
- Special savings and investment programs tied to housing, education, health, retirement and pensions (through tie-ups with service providers)
- Purchase of rural bank’s foreclosed assets
- Entrepreneurship and livelihood ventures / business development advice to OFWs and their families Microfinance
- Offering other financial investment instruments (e.g. mutual funds, bonds)
- Participation of rural banks in OFW pre-employment and/or pre-departure orientation, and reintegration activities
- Conduct of financial literacy seminars prior to departure (in coordination with regional or satellite offices of OWWA, POEA or PESO)
To provide value-added microfinancing services to the community, Bangko Mabuhay partnered with the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines – Microentrepreneur Access to Banking Services (RBAP-MABS) in 2002. Through RBAP-MABS, microfinancing clients are given sufficient training and technical assistance to support the financial assistance given by the Bank. This provides clients a bigger chance to emerge successful in whatever business they’d like to pursue.
As additional assistance for new entrepreneur clients, Bangko Mabuhay has tapped the services of the University of the Philippines – Institute for Small Scale Industries (UP-ISSI), a training service provider on Small & Medium Enterprise (SME) finance supported by the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) under the Small and Medium Enterprise Program (SMEDSEP) in partnership with the Small Business Guarantee and Finance Corporation (SBGFC).
With their alliance with UP-ISSI, Bangko Mabuhay’s SME Credit Department staff underwent training on credit appraisal and monitoring of quality credit portfolios and on increasing operational efficiency.