The poverty rate in the Philippines has generally declined in the last 20 years, it is still a continuing problem in the country. As a developing country, microfinance plays a vital role in providing the most disadvantaged with access to loans and helping them improve their lives by encouraging entrepreneurship. When managed correctly, these small loans can be used to build small businesses and develop other income-generating activities.
The Republic Act No. 10693 or the Microfinance NGOs Act is strengthening non-government organizations (NGOs) engaged in Microfinance Operations for the poor. Jyosna, as an IT services and consultancy company, has its own advocacy that aligns with creating accessible means to the underprivileged and those from the marginalized sectors.
With the United Nations coming up with a collection of 17 global goals to be implemented from 2015 to 2030, we believe that microfinance is playing a critical role towards achieving these Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Achieving the SDGs would be tougher without bringing people to have access to financial services. While the SDGs do not explicitly target microfinance, we attest that microfinance institutions (MFIs) is a key enabler for many of them. Microfinance is not only a factor for financial inclusion, but is also a significant lever towards the success of these global goals.
Some of the SDGs that the MFIs, and we, as a partner of the MFIs, try to target are eradicating poverty, ending hunger, promoting gender equality, helping with education, and improving nutrition and well-being.
We'd like to make sure that our people would less likely to sell assets, would be able to address health emergencies, stabilize their family income in times of economic shocks, and provide greater control over their funds.
Jyosna believes that there are many more benefits from microfinancing than most people may realize. We know that clients prioritize their interaction with a trusted group or MFIs because access to financial services is critical for them. This creates opportunities for these families that the government has historically struggled to serve.