The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the World Vision Development Foundation (WVDF), Inc. recently forged an agreement for the establishment of microfinance credit assistance to agrarian reform communities (ARCs) in North Cotabato.
Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Marion Abella said the partnership aims to address the needs of agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in ARCs to have easy access to credit and spare them from falling easy preys to loan sharks.
Under the agreement, the WVDF will bring in their flagship economic development program called Community Managed Savings and Credit Association (CoMSCA).
Abella explained that “CoMSCA is a community managed savings and credit mechanism that facilitates savings and loan facilities in impoverished communities where access to such services is difficult.”
Abella said that CoMSCA would be a big help in enhancing the capacities of agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (ARBOs) to become microfinance service providers and in providing sustainable access to financial services to farmers and community members.
WVDF’s Associate Director Jocelyn Mariscal represented by Erber Fe Tirado further said that CoMSCA creates a local pool of capital to provide members access to useful lump sums to meet predictable expenses, to reduce shocks to vulnerable livelihoods, facilitate household cash-flow management, and make short-term investments in income generating activities.
“CoMSCA allows a self-selected group of 10-25 persons to save in a locked box. The funds can then be borrowed by the members when it reaches a sufficient amount. After one year, all the savings and earnings from borrowings will be returned to the members,” Tirado elaborated.
The signed agreement between DAR and WVDF will be in force until 2018.
WVDF is operating in the Philippines for 58 years now. It provides emergency assistance to children and families affected by natural disasters and civil conflicts, works with communities to develop long-term solutions to alleviate poverty, and advocates for justice on behalf of the poor. (Rodel Orejudos)
(From left to right) PARPO Marion Abella, WVDF’s Associate Director Jocelyn Mariscal represented by Erber Fe Tirado and CARPO Emelita Mayol, sign the Memorandum of Agreement on CoMSCA implementation in North Cotabato.