More than 1,500 victims of landslide, flooding receive aid from KMBI

Program Members from ComVal with KMBI staff as they receive aid. Courtesy: Mark Jenelle Kho

A total of 1,574 KMBI Program Members affected by the recent flooding and landslide in February received assistance from KMBI in the form of relief goods and housing materials as part of the organization's Disaster Preparedness and Response Management (DPRM) program.

KMBI’s branches in Nabunturan, Butuan, San Francisco, Mati, Tagum, Metro Davao 2 and Metro Davao 3 actively took part in the mobilization of resources and swift delivery of relief to the victims of calamity.

The DPRM is among the various non-financial services of KMBI designed to provide relief to victims of disasters and calamities. This aims to mitigate financial vulnerabilities brought about by these unforeseen events.

KMBI's Legal Victory Over The Corporate Dispute

A decade ago, KMBI was faced with an unprecedented challenge of its history. The so-called corporate dispute of 2014 has shaken the confidence of all Kabalikats, posing uncertainties to the future of our organization and its vision and mission. It has been a protracted spiritual, financial, emotional and legal battle. So much has been estranged from us—our dear friends, resources, clients, time, and more. The risk of reputational integrity was hanging like a Damocles sword to all of us! But there is one thing that had never been taken away from us, it is our faith in the Almighty!!!

Indeed, God is never late in His promise of reward to the faithful. A decade later, we have emerged triumphant in this long-winding legal battle. The court has affirmed our legitimacy as an organization, finally putting an end to the decade-long corporate dispute. As tempting as it may be to say that victory is ours, we should be reminded that all these victories are from the Almighty God!

We can now leave behind a decade of struggle as we pick up the lessons we’ve learned along the way. We have been put through a test of fire and came out humbler, more resilient, more unified, and even more faithful to God. True to our battle cry, “ARISE KMBI!”, we rose up from this very fateful incident which we can now look back on—not as a bitter experience, but as a testament of God’s faithfulness to us.

We are immensely grateful to everyone who has stayed around and fought this formidable battle alongside us. We are grateful to our network organizations (APPEND and MCPI), our colleagues in the microfinance community, our trustees who brave the risk of court cases, and of course to our staff and management and the branch people who stayed with the Head Office. We are assured that God has witnessed the sacrifices that each of us made to savor this sweet victory.

We enjoin everyone in prayers for a smooth process in the complete recovery of KMBI’s assets, as well as the healing of many whose hearts have been scarred and continue to suffer from the scars inflicted by the events that had transpired a decade ago. With the subsequent transfer and conversion of our previous PCO offices to what is now a supposedly legal LMI, we will be relentless as we pursue the final completion of what the court has decided, i.e., all branches that sided with the break away group will have to do an inventory of what was taken and how it was used and then return those assets to the legal KMBI or be charged with contempt and other legal suits. We move forward as ONE KMBI!

Tunay na Masaya Dito Sa KMBI because God is with us!

Eduardo C. Jimenez
President, KMBI

KMBI Partners with Cebuana Lhuillier to Digitalize Loan Disbursement

KMBI announces the pilot testing of the automated disbursement program for KMBI Program Members via the digital platform offered by Cebuana Lhuillier.

With this partnership, KMBI is set to pilot the issuance of the Cebuana Microsavings 24k card which provides an additional method for clients to receive their loan proceeds. This allows for a streamlined and more convenient way of delivering KMBI’s programs.

The ATM card features free withdrawal at any Cebuana Lhuillier branches, quick, safe and accessible transactions, and no minimum maintaining balance, among others.

The automated loan disbursement project was first piloted in KMBI San Jose Del Monte Branch, onboarding a total of 676 Program Members. As of date, KMBI has digitally disbursed loans amounting to more than PhP 7 million.

This effort is consistent with one of the organization’s strategic directions, which is to integrate digital transformation into its programs and services. The digital loan disbursement pilot is set to expand later this year to the branches of Cauayan, Solano, Mandaue, Tacurong and Metro Davao 1.

2nd Digital Financial Inclusion Awards Recognize KMBI and Program Member

KMBI has once again been selected as one of the five awardees of the Digital Champions – MFI Category of the 2nd Digital Financial Inclusion Awards (DFIA). This makes KMBI a DFIA awardee for the second time in a row.

Significantly, KMBI's member client, Marissa Palcat of Tagum Branch, has also been selected as an awardee under the Digital Champions – Microentrepreneur Category of the 2nd DFIA.

A Program Member of KMBI for more than six years now, Marissa tells of a story not only of surviving, but of evolving with the times. She and her husband started their first business of Nintendo video gaming shop in 2001, which soon expanded into rentals of offline computers. With the rise of the internet in the Philippines, they upgraded their offline computer rentals into an internet shop.

Marissa in her computer shop

Facing the challenge of poor internet connectivity in their area, Marissa and her husband put up their own tower with another communication network with the help of capitalization she acquired from KMBI.

Marissa posing with her network tower in the background

She then established several WiFi vending machines, a utility which proved all the more necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic where digital transactions, communications and online schooling system have rapidly advanced. Her business not only withstood, but also thrived during the health crisis.

With the increased demand for internet connectivity and contactless transactions, Marissa and her husband added digital payment, bank transactions, cash-in and cash-out and loading services to their business. Apart from these ventures, Marissa also opened a water refilling station as well as printing and photocopy services.

Marissa poses for picture with her staff in A.J Water Refilling Station that offers a unique refilling vendo machine

Marissa shares this helpful advice to other aspiring women entrepreneurs: “Observe what’s happening in your community, identify the need, find a solution to answer that need, and make it your business. There is no easy way to success; when your business stumbles and encounters challenges, do not stop. Instead, innovate. Always think of and adopt new strategies to improve your business, and lastly, never forget to pray for blessings and guidance from God.”

As an awardee institution, KMBI will receive a cash prize of PhP 100,000. Marissa will also receive a cash prize amounting to PhP 100,000 and a laptop unit to aid in her businesses.

The DFIA is a financial inclusion awards program funded by Citi Foundation, in partnership with the Microfinance Council of the Philippines Inc. (MCPI) and supported by the Bangko ng Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). The program aims to recognize outstanding innovators in the microfinance industry in terms of digital solutions that produced meaningful results towards the achievement of financial inclusion, leading to economic empowerment of low-income individuals.

The recognition will be held on October 24, 2023 at the Assembly Hall, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in Malate, Manila.