The countrys outstanding microfinance institutions (MFIs) and microentrepreneurs were once again recognized for their achievements in digitalization at the 2nd Digital Financial Inclusion Awards (DFIA).

The DFIA is a financial inclusion 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 focuses on acknowledging outstanding microentrepreneurs as well as MFIs that have successfully adopted digital solutions in their operations and an awareness and readiness campaign on the digitalization of MFIs. The awarding ceremony was led by BSP Governor Eli M. Remolona, Jr., Citi Philippines CEO Paul Favila, and the MCPI.

Twenty (20) microentrepreneurs were recognized and awarded with cash prizes and laptops. The twenty winners who were awarded with PHP100,000 are: Shirley Aguinaldo, Rhodora Angeles, Joseph Arriesgado, Normanita Banagudos, Anabelle Banquero, Salome Barile, Rhea Fhene Barte, Ryme Janelle Besonaya, Cecilia Jarilla, Nurfaida Jupakkal, Joy Maniaol, Marissa Palcat, Arlene Panit, Arlene Passion, Connie Rivera, Catherine Rugnao, Floricel Sanorjo, Fely Suarez, Estrelita Tuan, and Marites Zulueta. The businesses of this years awardees ranged from food production and processing, poultry, organic products to handicrafts, weaving and printing.  

Five (5) microfinance institutions were also announced as winners during the awarding ceremony. A cash incentive of PHP100,000 was awarded to the winning MFIs. The cash prize is intended to continuously improve their digital financial services program. The MFI winners are CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI), Kabalikat para sa Maunlad na Buhay, Inc. (KMBI), Kabuhayan sa Ganap na Kasarinlan Credit and Savings Cooperative (K-Coop), RAFI Micro-Finance, Inc., and Rural Bank of Guinobatan, Inc.

The BSP lauds our awardees for embracing the transformative power of digital technologies. We hope your continuing work will serve as a model for your peers to follow, Governor Eli M. Remolona, Jr. said. The BSP will continue to foster an enabling regulatory environment so that more MSMEs benefit from digital financial innovation.

Citi Philippines CEO Paul Favila hopes the DFIA awards program will continue to inspire and recognize the efforts of MFIs and microentrepreneurs for decades to come. The program reflects Citis continuous support in strengthening financial inclusion in the country.

Favila said, We are in awe of what you have all achieved with your respective businesses especially in such challenging times and for your contributions to your respective local communities. We also recognize the efforts of the microfinance institutions who have proactively taken the first step towards digital transformation while continuously supporting and empowering microentrepreneurs. Behind each of your successes, there is an inspiring story of strength, courage and determination. These are the stories that contribute to Citi Foundation continuing with its mission to enable economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world.

Through the 2nd DFIA, microentrepreneurs and MFIs will ultimately be motivated and inspired to adopt digital solutions that will expand digitalization in businesses and empower local communities for the countrys economic growth.

The DFIA program is an evolution of the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards that enables Citi Foundation and MCPI to continue raising awareness about the importance of microentrepreneurship and microfinance in supporting financial inclusion and economic empowerment of low-income individuals.