Green Bank moving Siargao branch

Green Bank Inc. (A Rural Bank) will be relocating its Dapa branch in this island resort to the more populous market place and port area to accommodate its demanding client base as well as expanding micro-borrowers.

The new branch will be completed by March next year.

The present branch site is servicing at least a thousand bank clients covering the nine municipalities of Del Carmen, Gen Luna, Socorro Burgos, San Isidro, Sta. Monica, San Benito, Pilar, and Dapa.

“It will remain a microfinance-oriented branch,” Ronald B. Cabalan, branch manager told The STAR.

Its loan portfolio reflects that 70 percent are microborrowers while 30 percent are agri, personal, consumer and commercial.

Micro-borrowers range from sari-sari owners, eateries, fisherfolk, drivers/operators, and magbobote.

Cabalan explained that majority of micro-loans are characterized by weekly collections. The minimum amount of a microloan is P3,000.

The Siargao branch of Green Bank has 11 loan officers, with seven devoted to microfinance. Of the seven microfinance ‘specialists’, six have already undergone training with the Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (MABS) program.

The MABS program is run by the United States Agency for International Davelopment (USAID) and the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP), with oversight from the Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCo).

Cabalan admitted that microfinance is successful in Siargao that it finances a large portion of their investments and banking activities.

Meanwhile, deposits taking continue to grow with its different deposit product including the Lata Savings focused on new savers and children. It merely requires a minimum P100 to open an account, although application of interest rates starts when the account reaches P500. The savings product comes with a passbook and lata (savings can in place of the piggy bank).

There is also Seed Savings, which comes in two variants, the goal data and goal amount. A minimum amount of P100 is also sufficient to open an account.

Green Bank also offers other bank products and services, such as mobile banking, and money transfer for remittances.

Green Bank is a rural bank with 41 branches and 72 kiosks nationwide, and more than P1.6 billion in total resources end of 2006. The bank serves more than 180,000 depositors and more than 60,000 borrowers. Its main thrust is microfinance services, aside from pension, salary, agricultural, commercial, and regular banking products.

Green Bank has been a MABS participating bank since 2000, and has disbursed more than 139,000 microenterprise loans totaling more than P2 billion. – TPT, Philstar

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