Visit to the Life Bank Foundation (LBF) in Iloilo by representatives of Euro Generics International Philippines (EGIP), the Philippine Eagle (PEF) and the PCEEM foundations.
LBF had expressed interest in replicating the Forest Protection cum Livelihood Program (FPLP) implemented in the Ancestral Domain (AD) of the Macatabo Indigenous Community in Barangay Carmen, Davao and facilitated by PEF and PCEEM. The Program is funded by EGIP.
Mr. ‘WIEBE’ van Rij Program Consultant and Ms. Erdee ‘JOY’ C. Lao (EGIP staff) together with ‘DENNIS’ J.I.Salvador Executive Director of PEF and Ms. ‘MERIAM’ S. Colon Executive Director of PCEEM, visited LBF office in Iloilo on April 29 & 30 2013 to discuss replication in another AD in the mountains of Davao. They met with LBF President Mr. “MANNY’ Perlas, Vice-President Ms. ‘DITAS’ Perlas, Mr. Valentino “VAL’ Lucero Social & Sustainable Development Manager, Mr ‘BONG’ Manager for Operations and Ana, LBF Staff.
The Davao team was briefed on LBF which provides micro credit to enterprising poor, mostly women, all over the Philippines including Davao City. Country wide there are 350 units with 1000 borrowers each, providing financial services to 350,000 clients. LBF follows the methodology of ASA, a high credibility micro finance institution in Bangladesh. LBF employs around 1700 staff of which 95% are involved in providing micro finance. Parallel with the financial services, LBF has a Social Sustainability Development Programme (SSDP) with two components, one on capacity building and providing other services to the LBF borrowers like insurance services and the other is the Visionary Social Responsibility Program (VSRP), from which projects in the area of poverty reduction, nation building and environmental conservation are funded. Replication of FPLP would be funded from the VSRP.
Mr. Wiebe, introduced the team from Davao and Ms. Joy explained the EGIP organization to the LBF representatives. PEF and PCEEM also introduced their organization and the activities they are involved in.
The discussions focused on the mode of operations to replicate the model in the Ancestral Domain (AD) of the Bagobo-Klata tribe in Sitio Sicao, Barangay Tamayong, Davao City. The Sicao area borders the AD of the Macatabo tribe and implementation would highly increase effectiveness and efficiency of protecting both areas. Earlier EGIP, in consultation with the LBF, had already drafted a MOU with partners & stakeholders as well as implementation work plans and budgets for final discussion. These documents were once more reviewed during the meeting and further improved. It was agreed that the Davao team will discuss the final docs with Davao parties to the MOU: the Bagobo-Klata Tribal Council and LBF as 1st and 2nd party respectively and NCIP as 3rd party. Other parties to the MOU are the PEF, PCEEM, DENR/CENRO, Barangay Council, and EGIP. From its side LBF committed to seek the endorsement of the proposed Program from concerned LBF SSDP committee. The month of May was reserved for further consultations with all parties and signing of the MOU and agreements and the Program in Sicao should start by June 2013.
WIEBE VAN RIJ
Overall Project Consultant, Incorporator