LANDBANK FINANCIAL INCLUSION CARAVAN YEAR TWO: Continuing Our Commitment to National Inclusivity

Monday, April 16, 2018

Now on its second year, LANDBANK’s Financial Inclusion Caravan has helped over 7,000 underserved Filipinos from mostly third- to fifth-class municipalities nationwide learn more about formal banking and other financial services.

Themed “Ipon at Kabuhayan para sa mga Kababayan”, the financial literacy campaign was held in a series of caravans covering a total of 17 municipalities (9 in 2016 and 8 in 2017) from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

“This caravan aims to improve financial literacy, especially in rural communities that have no or very limited access to this kind of assistance. It also enables us to reach more underserved Filipinos, especially in rural areas,” said LANDBANK President and CEO Alex Buenaventura.

 

Financial Literacy to the underserved

In support of the government’s campaign to promote greater financial inclusion and achieve inclusive growth, LANDBANK championed the Financial Inclusion Caravan, now on its second run, to reach more far-flung areas across the country.

The series of half-day forums included activities such as basic financial learning and savings, talks about livelihood opportunities, and introduction to formal banking products and services. It also covered practical money tips and the benefits of maintaining a bank account.

The second caravan series, which ran from September 2017 to March 2018, drew nearly 4,000 attendees from eight 3rd to 5th class municipalities. These include mostly small business owners, farmers and fishers, and beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

To encourage attendees to open their own accounts, LANDBANK gave pre-loaded ATM accounts to over 1,000 participants in all the sites. This enticed participants to voluntarily open accounts. In total, nearly 75% opened savings accounts on the spot.

In the Tarlac leg of the caravan, Moncada Mayor Estelita Aquino supplemented the pre-loaded ATM accounts from the Bank to cover all 440 participants during the event – signifying its strong commitment to promote financial inclusion among its constituents.

A special basic savings account was developed specifically for the participants of the caravan. It has exclusive features such as zero initial deposit, no minimum balance, waived dormancy and other fees, among others.

When participants were asked why they haven’t opened a savings account with any bank, Juvidith Cagro – a participant from the caravan in Davao said, “Ang dami kasing hinihingi sa bangko, (Banks have a lot of requirements).” To her delight, Juvidith was able to open her very first ATM savings account during the event. “At least meron na kaming ATM. Sobrang dali lang pala. Tapos kahit sa cellphone, natutunan namin na pwede pala kaming kumita (ng pera),” she added.

LANDBANK also put up an ATM and Cash Deposit Machine (CDM) demonstration booth to familiarize participants with the use of the machines. 

Ifugao Governor Pedro Mayam-o lauded LANDBANK for bringing financial literacy and services to his province. The Kiangan, Ifugao leg of the caravan had the most number of attendees among the eight sites of the caravan with close to 600 participants.

“We greatly appreciate LANDBANK for bringing financial services to the people of Ifugao. Thank you for choosing our province to be one of the sites for this Financial Inclusion Caravan,” said Governor Mayam-o.

For her part, Pilar (Sorsogon) Mayor Carolyn Sy-Reyes also thanked LANDBANK for bringing LANDBANK’s services to their municipality.  “We’ve been waiting for this opportunity for such a long time and we are very grateful to LANDBANK for bringing it here in Pilar,” said Mayor Reyes.

KasamaKA Community and Income Builder

Apart from opening savings accounts and learning livelihood opportunities, participants also learned about the “KasamaKA Community and Income Builder” program of FINTQ - the financial technology arm of PLDT and Smart’s Voyager Innovations - which was presented by its managing director, Lito Villanueva.

Launched to veer Filipinos away from informal lenders such as “5-6,” KasamaKA enables members to earn by referring applicants to any of the digital financing services offered by Lendr – FINTQ’s digital loan platform. They can earn as much as P300 for every successful referral, which will be credited to their LANDBANK accounts.

“We’ve been a proponent for change in terms of digitizing financial services in the country and we are happy to work with LANDBANK in this unified goal of bringing basic financial services closer to every Filipino,” said Villanueva.

Unwavering commitment

LANDBANK’s Financial Inclusion Caravan forms part of its commitment to support the government’s thrust towards greater financial literacy and inclusive growth. “We are targeting to reach more municipalities and replicate this in more areas to reach more Filipinos and create better growth opportunities, especially in the countryside,” Buenaventura added.

The financial literacy campaign is a partnership with local government units, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Bank’s partner cooperatives in each site, and FINTQ.

“The success of this program is also largely due to the commitment of Landbankers nationwide, especially from our branches, lending centers, and field units who went beyond the call of duty and devoted their weekends to make all these possible,” said Buenaventura.

Just this year, the Financial Inclusion Caravan has already won for LANDBANK two consecutive awards – a Silver Anvil under the Specialized Public Relations Programs - Advocacy Campaign Category at the 53rd Anvil Awards and an “Outstanding Development Project” award from the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP) under the Financial Inclusion Category of the ADFIAP Development Awards 2018.