11 banks press release

Eleven (11) of the biggest Rural Banks, top 3% in the country, together with the Economic Resource Center for Overseas Filipinos (ERCOF) join hands in helping our 10 million OFWs by providing them and their families traditional banking and microfinance services in their respective towns and provinces. The Bayaning Bayanihan campaign seeks to create a link between our OFW’s and the services of their Rural Banks that are located near their families. Remittance can now be done through the partner Rural Banks making it safe, fast and secure. Presidents and CEO’s from left to right are Mr. Edwin Fojas of Bangko Mabuhay, Mr. Reggie Ocampo of First Macro Bank, Mr. Jose Misael Moraleda of Camalig Bank, Mr. Mitch Gomez of GM Bank, Ms. Teresa David Carlos of Bank of Florida, ERCOF Executive Director. Ding Bagasao, Atty. Francis Ganzon of Bangko Kabayan, Atty. Nicolas Lim of 1st Valley Bank, Mr. Jaime Lopez of Bank Victorias, Gen. William Hotchkiss III of Cantilan Bank, Atty. Edward Garcia Jr. of Quezon Capital Rural Bank and Mr. Ives Jesus Nisce II for Rang-ay Bank join hands in support of our OFW’s.


Rural banks have been crucial in helping finance small businesses in the province. This is attested to by the World Bank and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Here is an article that appeared in the Manila Times which provides more information on how Rural Banks help OFWs and SME’s in the provinces.

By Atty. Francis Ganzon

Local rural banking sector takes pride in its role in the countryside.

In a recent article published in The Economist, World Bank Chief Economist Justin Lin underscored the importance of small banks in developing countries where a large number of lower income sectors, which need to be taken care of, reside.

According to Lin, “Smaller domestic banks are much better suited to providing finance to the small businesses that dominate the manufacturing, farming and services sectors in developing countries. There is evidence to suggest that growth is faster in countries where these kinds of banks have larger market shares, in part because of improved financing for just these kinds of enterprises.”

Lin cited how Japan, South Korea and China’s “adherence to simple banking systems” kept them away from financial crises on their road to
becoming high-income countries. In the United States, local banks were dominant during the industrial phase of its development.

I could not agree more with the World Bank observation. The WB article written by no less than the institution’s chief economist only validates the rural bank industry’s vital role in developing countries like the Philippines.

Thus, to be able to achieve an ideal financial “ecosystem” where all client sectors—from small to big—are served well, small banks—the rural banks, most especially, have to co-exist with the large banks to provide the needed balancing factor. This is to ensure that the country’s financial system does not leave out especially the marginalized sectors of the society.

This has been the thrust of the rural bank industry since its inception more than 50 years ago—to serve the unserved and underserved
segments of the population. This thrust is supported by the fact that in more than 40 percent of the areas where rural banks are located,
there are no other forms of financial institutions to be found aside from rural banks. This shows how rural banks are able to serve the
needs of underprivileged and previously unserved communities in the country.

The rural bank sector releases approximately P2.7 billion loans every month as working capital for micro-entrepreneurs, thereby serving as a catalyst for development.

Based on data from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), more than 800,000 micro-entrepreneurs were able to avail of financing totaling
to P8 billion as of end-2008. This accounts for more than 30 percent of the total number of micro-entrepreneurs served nationwide, and 50
percent of the value of total loans to this sector.

Rural banks’ exposure to small enterprises is even greater at P32.4 Billion, or 51.9 percent of its total loan portfolio as of latest
complete data from the BSP dated end-December 2007. Loans extended to medium enterprises amounted to P8.4 billion in the same period. In toto, RBs have a 75.4 percent compliance rate for lending to the SME sector vs. the minimum requirement of 8 percent. Moreover, 2008 data, once available, are expected to show an even more robust lending to the SME sector.

Any business activity or enterprise may be categorized as micro if it has a capitalization of not more than P3 million, small if above P3 million but not more than P15 million, and medium-sized if above P15 million up to P100 million.

Imagine how many rice farmers and millers, poultry and hog growers, mini-grocery owners, and handicraft manufacturers that rural banks have helped fund. Imagine how many of these small town entrepreneurs have succeeded in establishing formidable businesses with the help of their local banks.

Indeed, we at the rural bank industry have helped realize thousands of dreams of people in the countryside and have supported the overall growth and development of the communities where their businesses are located. Needless to say, our service to the previously unserved and underserved segments is one of the best, if not the best service fulfilled by the industry.

Atty. Francis Ganzon is the president of Bangko Kabayan (A Rural Bank) Inc., a 52-year-old rural banking institution serving its “kabayans”all over the Province of Batangas. He served as president of the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP) for FY 2006 to 2007 and was the chairman of the Rural Bankers Research and Development Foundation for FY 2008 to 2009. He finished his degree in Law at the Ateneo de Manila University.

Please see the Bank list guide of Bayaning Bayanihan.  These Rural Banks are in the top 3% of the Rural banking industry in the Philippines and may be present in your hometown.  Click on the active links to visit their websites for more information. Halina, Bayaning Bayanihan Na!

Gone are the days when the Rural Bank (RB) was viewed as a small operation in the backwoods of the Philippines. Today Rural Banks are as modern as any city bank – sometimes even more modern than their city counterparts. In fact in some of our towns Rural Banks are not rural, but THE BANK of choice for community residents.

Rural Banks are the cornerstone of countryside development in the Philippines. All are privately owned and funded but closely monitored by the Central Bank of the Philippines or Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Philippine Deposit and Insurance Corporation (PDIC). They are platforms for banking services and loans for farmers and Filipinos living in small towns in the provinces.

What distinguishes a Rural Bank from big name banks like BPI, BDO, Citibank and others? Here are a few:

1) RB’s are given a specific area of operation or province where they can operate as determined by the BSP.
2) RB’s are homegrown and usually owned by people who were born and live in the area where the RB operates. Hence, they are locally known by the people in the community they serve.
3) RB’s are NOT allowed to invest their funds/deposits/assets in other parts of the country or outside of it. They are only allowed to invest in the areas where they operate. Hence there is absolutely no chance that it can be affected by world financial crises.
4) RB’s invest in the province in the form of loan packages that they provide owners of small businesses or for community development projects where they operate.
5) Some of the biggest RB’s are allowed to operate in several provinces, depending on their performance and liquidity. This is determined by the BSP.
6) Most RB’s have ATMs, Remittance services, Peso and Dollar Accounts, Checking accounts, Time Deposits, Micro financing loans and OFW placement loan packages.

When you open an account in a Rural Bank, you are helping improve the economy in your hometown. Why? Because RB’s lend to members of the community who want to establish businesses in your hometown. In turn, these businesses create job opportunities for the community as well.

If you are an OFW, what benefits can be derived from opening an account in the RB in your hometown?

1. Safe – All transactions are conducted within the bank premises and are processed through your account.
2. Secure – Deposits are covered by Insurance as much as P 500,000. Pesos guaranteed by the PDIC.
3. Trust – The bank manager or even the owner is known by you or by members of your family. Even the employees may have been your classmate or their children are classmates of your children. Iba pa rin ang magkababayan, diba!
4. Convenience – Since an RB is located in your hometown, it is convenient to transact business with them. Hindi mo na kailangan lumayo o di na kailangan pang pumunta ng pamilya mo sa ibang lugar.
5. Guaranteed Remittance – Your remittance or hard earned money can be received by relatives in their respective bank accounts within the bank. Wala ng kaba!
6. OFW Placement Loan Packages – For OFW’s with a definite contract, some RB’s provide placement loan packages that assist with the expenses of the OFW prior to departure.
7. Financial Advise – Rural Banks can provide the best financial advise for OFW investments as they know what businesses usually thrive in the area they operate in.

8.  Higher interests – Some RB’s provide higher interest rates for long term time deposits. These are tax free and still covered by the PDIC up to P 500,000. pesos.

Now, it can’t be helped that there are some RB’s who have questionable reputations. Here are some things to look for to determine a Rural Banks strength.

1) Determine how long the Rural Bank has existed. Are they newly established or, have they been in the province for over 20 to 50 years.
2) How many branches do they have? Is it a one branch operation or multi-branch and multi-province.
3) Honest RB’s would have a website where all financial information are available.
4) Visit the bank branch and ask questions. Huwag mahiyang magtanong dahil gusto rin naman nilang maging customer kayo.
5) Ask relatives and friends about the bank. Siguradong mayroong may ka kilala ang manager doon or isa man lang empleyado na maka tutulong sa iyo.
6) Check with the BSP as they have a list of all the RB’s in the Philippines and those who are not financially stable/blacklisted.

When you open an account in your Rural Bank, you have already started the process of Bayanihan in your community. Ang pagtangkilik sa kanila ay pagtangkilik sa inyong bayan tinitirahan at babalikan. Halina, Bayaning Bayanihan na!

The good news of Bayaning Bayanihan is now embraced in the following Provinces, Cities and Towns across the major islands of the Philippines.  OFW Bayani’s and their relatives can now go to the leading Rural Bank in these areas and inquire about their OFW friendly products and services.

The Bayaning Bayanihan Provinces are:  BATANGAS: Ibaan, Nasugbu, Rosario, Calaca, San Juan, San Jose, Balayan, Cuenca, Tanauan, Mabini, Agoncillo, San Pascual, Calatagan, Lemery and Batangas City. CAVITE: GMA Cavite, Tanza, Molino, Indang, Naic, Dasmarinas.  OCCIDENTAL MINDORO: Mamburao.  QUEZON: Lucena City, Sariaya, Pagbilao, Candelaria, Tiaong, Lucban, Tayabas, Atimonan, Gumaca, Lopez, Calauag, Mauban, Infanta, Real, Malunay, Catanauan, Padre Burgos, Tagkawayan, San Francisco, San Narciso, Guinayangan. LAGUNA: Binan, Luisiana, Nagcarlan, Calauan, Alaminos. NUEVA ECIJA: Munoz, Lupao, Laur, San Jose City, Rizal, Bongabon, Cabanatuan City, Palayan, San Leonardo, Penaranda, Gen. Tinio, Talavera, Zaragoza, Licab, Sto. Domingo, Guimba, Llanera, Cuyapo.  PANGASINAN: Malasiqui, Dagupan City TARLAC: Capas, Gerona, Tarlac, Concepcion, Camiling. PAMPANGA: Angeles City, San Fernando City, Floridablanca, Sto. Tomas, Sta. Ana, Arayat, Candaba, Mabalacat, Guagua, Magalang BULACAN: Baliuag, San Miguel, Pulilan. LA UNION: San Fernando, Balaloan, Bacnotan, Naguilian, Tubao, Agoo.  ILOCOS SUR: Magsingal, Burgos, Vigan, Narvacan, Candon, Sta. Cruz, Tagudin.  ILOCOS NORTE: Laoag  BENGUET: La Trinidad, Baguio City. ABRA: Bangued ALBAY: Legaspi City, Daraga, Camalig.  CAMARINES SUR: Milaor. CATANDUANES: Virac, San Andres. SORSOGON: Sorsogon City, Irosin RIZAL: Angono, Morong, Antipolo.  METRO MANILA: Taguig, Muntinlupa, Las Pinas, Pasig, Pateros. NEGROS ISLAND: Bacolod City, Victorias City, Kabankalan City, San Carlos City, Escalante City.  ILOILO: Iloilo City.  LANAO DEL NORTE: Baroy, Kapatagan, Maranding, Molave, Iligan City, Bacolod.  ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR:  Molave, Dumingag, Margosatubig, Dumalinao, Pagadian City, Aurora.  ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY:  Buug, Ipil, Imelda. ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE: Dipolog City, Manukan, Liloy, Sindangan, Zamboanga City.  MISAMIS OCCIDENTAL:  Ozamis City, Oroquieta City, Sinacaban.  MISAMIS ORIENTAL:  Initao, CDO City, Puerto, Gingoog.  BUKIDNON: Talakag, Malaybalay. SURIGAO DEL NORTE: San Isidro, Dapa, Del Carmen, Malimono. SURIGAO DEL SUR: Lanuza, Aras-asan, Barobo, Mangagoy, Bislig City, Marihatag, Lianga, Hinatuan, Lingig. AGUSAN DEL NORTE: Cabadbaran, Buenavista, Santiago, Ampayon, Butuan City. AGUSAN DEL SUR: Bayugan City, Prosperidad, Trento. COMPOSTELA VALLEY: Nabunturan. SOUTHERN LEYTE: Liloan.

Ang pag-padaan ng remittance mo sa Rural Bank na nasa lugar ng pamilya mo ay tulong na sa ating Bayaning Bayanihan.  Dumali na ang proseso para sa pamilya mo, nakatulong ka pa sa babalikan mo. Malapit na, Safe at Sigurado pa.  Halina, Bayaning Bayanihan na!

(Please checkout the Banks list in the links section for the Rural Banks in all the towns listed.)