CARD Philippines extends relief aid in Myanmar
The Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD) in the Philippines through its microfinance operations in Myanmar, the CARD Myanmar COMPANY LIMITED (CMCL), has extended its community development support in Myanmar who were affected by heavy flooding brought about by the monsoon rains.
A total of 7,215,507 Myanmar Kyat (MMK) or 267,946 in Philippine Peso (PHP) worth of relief assistance were distributed to its 2,362 microfinance clients and 17 staff in Bago, Thanatpin, Daik-U, Waw, Hpa Yar Gyi, Mingaladon, and Hlegu.
Flordeliza L. Sarmiento, the managing director of CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI), highlighted that the mission of CARD MRI to eradicate poverty is inclusive. “That is why we established a microfinance operations in Myanmar and just like how we practice disaster response in the Philippines, the same high quality of standards will be applied here,” she added.
On the ground disaster response
“As of August 3, 2018, our relief assistance program has concluded already. I am very thankful for the joint effort of our staff and clients in packing the needed relief aids for us to respond quickly to the situation,” said Josef Leron, managing director of CMCL.
Leron also shared how challenging their disaster response was. “We really had to brave the floods to get to our clients. The areas of Waw, Thanatpin, and Bago were quite hard to penetrate but everyone in our team is really committed. We were able to get through the area,” added Leron.
“With the support of our staff, clients, and CARD MRI International Group Specialists, who are very familiar with the place, we were able to deliver our services the safest way we could,” Leron further emphasized.
Sarmiento also expressed her appreciation to the management, staff, and clients of CMCL for their immediate response to the situation.
Poverty eradication beyond boundaries
In 2013, CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI) was approved to operate as a service company limited in Myanmar by providing microfinance, capacity-building, and technical assistance. CARD Myanmar is the first microfinance institution of CARD MRI outside the Philippines.
“The effort to establish our presence in other ASEAN countries is part of our commitment of eradicating poverty regardless of geographical boundaries,” said Sarmiento, adding that this is also part of their ASEAN Integration initiatives.
Prior to ASEAN Integration, CARD has been present in some ASEAN countries such as Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Thailand providing technical assistance on microfinance operation and financial literacy.
As of July 2018, CMCL has 12 unit offices with 64 staff serving 15,052 total clients. Likewise, CARD MRI is a group of 21 institutions in the Philippines that aims to eradicate poverty by providing microfinance and social development services.