KMBI Board of Trustees Welcomes New Leaders

Three new leaders joined the roster of KMBI’s governance during the Annual General Membership (AGM) meeting last March 4, 2023 at KMBI Panay Office, Quezon City.

Mr. Gary J. Jamora, Chairman of Resources for the Blind, Inc., now serves as KMBI’s Corporate Secretary. Mr. Jamora is also a celebrated restaurateur and chef who has decades of culinary experience.

Another addition to the KMBI Board of Trustees is Mr. Sebastian Quiniones, Jr., who previously served the organization as Corporate Member. Mr. Quiniones is the Executive Director of Pilipinas Shell Foundation since January 2019. He is also currently the Chairman of the Board of the League of Corporate Foundations. He was appointed as Managing Director and General Manager of Prime Energy Resources Development BV, the company which took over the Operatorship of the Malampaya Gas to Power Project in November 2022.

The rest of the Board composition is as follows: Mr. Sergio G. Edeza, Chairman; Ms. Aneth Ng-Lim, Vice-Chairman; Mr. Eduardo C. Jimenez, President; Mr. Lemuel David A. Salmo, Corporate Treasurer; and Trustees Bishop Jose D. Dalino, Ms. Victoria Esperanza Z. Cartera, and Dr. Rodolfo P. Estigoy.

The organization also welcomes a new Corporate Member, Dr. Hemmady S. Mora. Dr. Mora is the current dean of the College of Communications at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP). She is also an International Alumni for Haggai Leadership Experience and serves in the national faculty of Haggai Institute Philippines.

The AGM is conducted annually pursuant to the Corporate Code and By-laws. The meeting is held to allow leaders to discuss KMBI’s fiscal performance for the previous year, address issues and concerns, revisit the organization’s accomplishments, and elect new members and officers in the Board of Trustees.

Left: Dr. Hemmady S. Mora, Corporate Member. Middle: Mr. Sebastian Quiniones, Jr., Trustee. Right: Mr. Gary Jamora, Corporate Secretary (photo courtesy of

KMBI Leaders Gather for Face-to-Face General Assembly

For the first time in two years, KMBI leaders and branch officers have gathered for a face-to-face General Assembly held at Park Inn by Radisson North EDSA, Quezon City last January 23-25, 2023.

The three-day assembly kicked off with the unveiling of Isaiah 50:7 as KMBI’s theme verse for 2023: “Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.”

The assembly gave participants a platform to air their concerns and provide feedback to the top leadership, which will p lay a significant role in continuously improving KMBI’s processes and systems. This solidifies the organization’s commitment to transparency and good governance.

Reinforcements on KMBI’s new and existing policies were among the highlights of the assembly, in which policymakers and process owners outlined the proper processes to be performed in the conduct of KMBI’s operations, which include but are not limited to human resources, product policies and risk management, among many others.

The assembly was also filled with insightful talks from renowned microfinance industry leaders and award-winning changemakers. Dr. Jaime Aristotle B. Alip, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of CARD-MRI, shared ways on how to maintain social and economic relevance today and tomorrow, amidst the local and global challenges in the microfinance industry. He tackled the importance of client-centric approach in providing microfinance services to clients.

This was followed by a discussion on developing environmental awareness and active participation for a sustainable society, facilitated by Dr. Rex Victor O. Cruz, Scientist and Professor Emeritus and former Chancellor of UP Los Baños and 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Awardee on Climate Change.

Capping off the plenary talks were insights on spiritual growth shared by Ms. Aneth Ng-Lim, KMBI Vice-Chairman & Trustee and Public Affairs and Corporate Citizenship Specialist, who tackled the essence of spiritual wellness and mental health amidst the demands of work and personal life.

The assembly closed with a commitment setting headed by leaders of Credit Operations Group, Executive Management Office, Transformational Development and Training Group, and Management Services Group. This is a manifestation of the organization’s efforts to achieving its goals for the year 2023, in line with its five-year business plan dubbed, “ARISE KMBI! Journey to 40 and Beyond”, which is the KMBI’s roadmap leading to its 40th year of service to microentrepreneurs and farmers.

The General Assembly is an annual gathering of KMBI leaders to discuss and lay down the plans for the year ahead.

KMBI Bags Recognition in 1st Digital Financial Inclusion Awards

KMBI was recognized as one of the 4 awardees of Digital Champions – MFI Category during the 1st Digital Financial Inclusion Awards (DFIA), a financial inclusion initiative funded by Citi Foundation in partnership with the Microfinance Council of the Philippines.

Held virtually last December 6, 2022, the DFIA honors KMBI’s efforts in adopting and implementing digital technologies in its operations to better serve its Program Members during these changing times.

KMBI’s in-house system, the Dynamic Unified Network and Management Information System or DUNAMIS, paved a way for KMBI to accelerate the digitalization of its systems. DUNAMIS transformed the process of daily banking transactions and financial records through automation.

KMBI continued its journey towards digitalization through a partnership with the International Labor Organization (ILO). This collaboration produced a digital payment and financial services platform via DigiPay, which allowed client / merchant-agents to carry out payments, remittances and e-loading services.

Milagros Francisco, KMBI Program Member, navigates through the DigiPay app to learn the processes of using the app to facilitate online transactions.

KMBI’s most recent move towards digitalization is the automated collection system in partnership with UBx to help in lowering transaction costs and streamlining the payment process for the Program Members.

A UBx representative guides a KMBI Program Member in San Jose Del Monte through the basics of using the BUx online payment platform.

This move allowed KMBI to reap the positive impact of digitalization on KMBI’s staff and operations. In an interview, Deputy Executive Director for Transformational Development and Training Group (TDTG), Ms. Hazel Christine R. Bayaca shared how KMBI’s digitalization efforts paid off in a lot of ways.

Deputy Executive Director for TDTG, Ms. Hazel Christine R. Bayaca, shares a message to KMBI Program Members during the UBx Kickoff at KMBI San Jose del Monte Branch. She highlights the convenience of being able to transact with KMBI through alternative payment channels.

“First of all, we were able to observe an increase of daily collections, around 15-20% since we started our digital financial services. We have also observed the lowering of printing costs and courier costs, which is about 2-3 milion [Pesos] in a year. Our staff felt ease and experienced lesser time doing their reports and processing records,” Ms. Bayaca said.

The digital financial services has also been helping KMBI’s clients in a lot of aspects. “First, this has helped decrease their transaction costs. Secondly, it has given them convenience and security because they don’t have to go physically to the banks. And thirdly, [it provided] safety from the possibility of getting infected by the virus along the way and in handling physical money,” she added.

Apart from the financial advantages as a result of digitalization, KMBI’s digital financial inclusion efforts have also empowered clients to learn digital skills which they in turn will use to empower their families and communities.

As an awardee, KMBI will receive a cash prize which will be used to further strengthen the organization’s digital financial services.

The DFIA is a program that aims to strengthen financial inclusion in the Philippines through digitalization of the microfinance sector. This event is supported by Citi Group and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

KMBI Grows in Faith on Its 36th Anniversary Celebration

KMBI celebrated 36 years of God’s faithfulness in serving the poor last Friday, November 25, 2022. With the theme, “Faith Grows at KMBI”, the celebration tackled the present issue of hunger and how it impacts the world after the economic crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On top of world hunger, the celebration also probed into the topic of spiritual hunger, emphasizing the significance of faith amidst the troubles that the world is facing. Ms. Victoria Esperanza (Perry) Z. Cartera, KMBI Trustee who also serves as the General Secretary of the Philippine Bible Society, expounded on this theme by discussing ways by which people can remain spiritually fed. She stressed the importance of continually reading, meditating on, and obeying God’s Word.

KMBI Trustee, Ms. Perry Cartera, talks about spiritual hunger and how it can be remedied with consistent exposure to God's Word. Photo courtesy: Kenneth David, Blesilda Visaya

One of the highlights of the activity is the kickoff of organization-wide urban gardening efforts, which aims to encourage staff to initiate organic food production in their homes or at the office. It also aims to promote food security within their communities by making food source more accessible and available. This affirms KMBI’s commitment to join the fight against world hunger and poverty.

In partnership with the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), KMBI spearheaded its urban gardening efforts at the KMBI Panay Office in Quezon City. The BPI donated seeds and plants to KMBI and conducted a seminar on Basic Urban Gardening last November 21, which was echoed virtually to all staff nationwide during the celebration on November 25.

Left: BPI representative Mr. Federico Merlan demonstrates the basics of urban gardening. Right: Seedlings provided by the BPI sprout from the tray. Photo courtesy: Blesilda Visaya

KMBI branches also conducted local urban gardening activities within their respective localities. Branch staff purchased seeds and sought ideal locations to grow food-producing plants.

Left: Program Members from KMBI Talisay Branch receive food-producing plants. Right: Staff from KMBI Talisay Branch start their urban gardening efforts by planting seeds.Photo courtesy: Jenelyn Garrido

This year, KMBI launched Talentadong Sentro, a multi-talent contest for KMBI Program Members which revolved around the theme, “Faith Grows at KMBI”. Participants recorded videos of themselves showcasing their broad range of talents—from grooving to various hits to performing interpretative dance and inspiring skits.

Left: Contestants from Kalibo perform their Talentadong Sentro dance entry atop a scenic hill. Right: Contestants from Bacolod portray the daily life of a KMBI Program Member through a short dramatization. Video courtesy: entries from Kalibo A219 and Bacolod B107.

KMBI’s monthly photo contest, KMBI Photo of the Month, picked three (3) winners who drew inspiration from greens and alluded their image to their interpretation of the word “growth.”

Left: A sizable tree stands out from among the greens. Photo courtesy: Jaynoh Caballero, Midsayap Branch. Middle: Farmers form a line as they plant rice together. Photo courtesy: Jelwin Castor, San Francisco Branch. Right: A lone seedling sprouts from the soil. Photo courtesy: Lianne Yveth Tonio, Biñan Branch.

This year’s anniversary celebration shows KMBI’s commitment to help eliminate hunger and establish hunger-proof households and communities.