Aboitiz champions sustainable livelihood for poverty reduction

Microfinance loans reached P207 million benefitting over 6,000 individuals in 2019

Representatives from Aboitiz Foundation, Pilmico, and Jardine Distribution join the farmers of the Hindang Banana Farmers Multi- Purpose Cooperative, based in Iligan City, in harvesting the latter’s yellow corn products during a Harvest Festival last year.

The Aboitiz Group, through its corporate social responsibility arm Aboitiz Foundation, continues to assist small and medium enterprises and micropreneurs with sustainable livelihood initiatives that aim to help alleviate poverty in the country.

In 2019, the Aboitiz Foundation disbursed over P200 million in microfinance loans through the Adopt-A-Branch (P154 million) and Wholesale Fund (P52.8 million) programs in partnership with CARD, Inc., benefiting 6,434 customers and 27 partner cooperatives and associations, respectively.

The adopt-a-branch program provides easy, affordable access, and a friendly experience to microfinance clients who mostly come from rural and unbanked areas, while the wholesale fund program provides support to partner cooperatives in their business operations, alongside several capability building and livelihood skills training.[d]

The program’s operation is patterned after the standard microfinance procedures of CARD, Inc. where the loanable amount ranges from P1,000 to P150,000 with affordable interest rates and flexible loan terms of up to one year.

Aside from the Adopt-A-Branch and Wholesale Fund programs, over 30 organizations were also provided with starter business kits and for farmers, post-harvest facilities.

“Our enterprise development program creates sustainable livelihood and enterprises that generate jobs and create entrepreneurs,” said Maribeth L. Marasigan, Aboitiz Foundation President and Chief Operating Officer.

“We help community organizations and cooperatives access financing, technical support, facilities, infrastructure, and markets through innovative business models. We help them scale up, increase their level of productivity and efficiency, and create employment. We had a very good year in 2019, and we look forward to an even more productive year in 2020,” Marasigan added.

Capacity-building, disaster relief

Under capacity-building, 290 corn, cacao, and cut flower farmers and 551 cooperative leaders and members received value-added training, 41 community organizations received organizational-strengthening training, and 14 organizations underwent business continuity planning.

Under disaster relief and rehabilitation, the Aboitiz Group extended over P10.3 million worth of assistance to 41,661 families, with the aid of 410 Aboitiz team member volunteers.

Enterprise development is one of the Aboitiz Foundation’s three focus areas, the other two being education and environment.

Since its inception in 1988, the Aboitiz Foundation’s corporate social responsibility interventions have evolved from one-time donations to carefully-designed programs that empower its beneficiaries to pursue their aspirations.

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