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LESSONS:

Philippines: Microfinance Development Program [Loan 2199-PHI]

| country: Philippines

The following lessons emerge from this successful program: (a) a successful microfinance development program requires continued government commitment and close cooperation and coordination between the various agencies involved; and (b) there is a need to address all aspects of a microfinance development program (i.e., rules, regulatory, and supervisory framework; performance standards for microfinance institutions (MFIs) and their close monitoring; business development services for both providers and users of microfinance; a financial literacy program to increase the financial knowledge of both providers and users of microfinance; and attachment of appropriate technical assistance (TA) to facilitate program implementation and achievement of outputs and outcomes). The project completion report (PCR) also outlined some important lessons regarding (a) the difficulty encountered in changing the tax codes for microfinance-oriented nongovernment organizations (NGOs) and cooperatives during a relatively short 2-year program implementation period; (b) the lack of leverage from program policy actions, which constrained progress towards privatizing the Philippine Postal Savings Bank (PPSB); and (c) the lack of awareness programs, which constrained the use of the National Antipoverty Commission (NAPC) website to handle complaints regarding microfinance services and products. This validation agrees with all these lessons as well.

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