After consistently ranking as one of the best in the world for the past four years, the country’s microfinance services remained stable as of end-2013 characterized by an increasing number of borrowers.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said microfinance loan portfolio grew by 3 percent to P8.7 billion in 2013 from P8.4 billion in 2012.
Micro-deposits have also been on an uptrend where accounts rose by 27 percent to P2.96 billion in 2013 versus P2.33 billion in 2012.
In terms of volume, the total number of micro-deposit accounts surged by 36 percent to 1.5 million accounts in 2013 from 1.1 million accounts in 2012.
For microinsurance, data from the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines indicated that the total number of rural bank clients with microinsurance swelled by 153 percent to 1.4 million in 2013 from around 543,500 in 2012.
The BSP said this shows that microfinance clients have attained a level of financial independence in gaining access to microcredit.
The figures only account for the banking system. The BSP said there are a number of institutions outside the banking system that cater to microfinance and it is estimated that the banking system accounts for just about a third of the total.
While there have been increases in product offering, the BSP looks forward to seeing a growth trend in the number of banks offering these different microfinance loan products.
The BSP said the number of banks offering microfinance loans to microenterprises dropped to 168 banks in 2013 from 171 banks in 2012, although the amount of microenterprise loans still expanded by 7 percent to P7.4 billion in 2013 from P6.9 billion in 2012.
The other types of microfinance loan products such as microfinance plus and housing microfinance loans also experienced growth in 2013.
Housing microfinance loans went up by 9 percent to P263 million in 2013 from P242 million in 2012.
Microfinance plus loans, which are loans amounting to P150,001 – P300,000 specifically designed for growing microenterprises, climbed by 34 percent to P111 million in 2013 versus P83 million in 2012.
“It was observed that majority of banks with exposures to Microfinance Plus are rural banks that have relatively longer years of track record in microfinance (they have been in existence for an average of 32 years). On the other hand, bulk of the housing microfinance loans are coming from a large microfinance-oriented rural bank,” the BSP said.
For five consecutive years – from 2009 to 2013 – the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has consistently ranked the Philippine regulatory environment for microfinance as one of the best in the world.
EIU noted that the BSP continued to promote an enabling environment for microfinance as a key advocacy to support poverty reduction.
It also cited advances in mobile access to bank accounts, the agent relationships for cross-selling of microinsurance products and the geospatial mapping currently being undertaken to account for different types of financial service access points in the country.
In the Philippines, MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) account for 99.6 percent of our total enterprises, employ 61 percent of our total employed population and contribute 32 percent to the gross domestic product.
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