The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI) Micro-finance program has opened 12 new branches in Cebu and Negros provinces over the months of March and April. This brings its total to 58 locations that offer more client nanays and tatays the opportunity to access seed capital to grow their own businesses and improve their quality of life.
“The secret ingredient to being a successful micro-entrepreneur is to have a dream, a plan, the confidence, perseverance, and to work hard for the success of your chosen business,” said RAFI Micro-finance program Executive Director, Ma. Theresa Catipay.
In venturing in Negros Occidental, RAFI Micro-finance met a few roadblocks, including unfamiliarity with the attitude and behavior of potential clients.
“(This is) the first time we penetrated Negros Occidental…One of the biggest challenges was how to adjust to the kind of behavior they have. We don’t know yet what kind of clients we would have,” said RAFI Micro-finance Expansion Head Raffy Baladjay.
Despite this, RAFI Micro-finance persevered, cognizant of its thrust to reach and empower more marginalized nanays and tatays.
“Focus, manpower, and the desire to maintain the reputation of the foundation were what inspired the teams in finding ways to serve the clients as part of the preparation when opening a new branch,” said Barili Branch Officer-in-charge Reynard Briones.
Deputy Director for Operations Ailyne Lim offered a reminder on the important roles to play in availing of RAFI Micro-finance’s financial and non-financial services.
“This wouldn’t be complete without the client’s hard work and perseverance to become a successful micro-entrepreneur,” she said.
The branches in the Cebu towns of San Fernando and Barili were inaugurated on March 28, followed by those in the cities of Escalante and Cadiz in Negros Occidental on March 31. On April 19, branches in the towns of Compostela and Dalaguete in Cebu were opened, followed by those in Himalalod town and in Guihulngan City in Negros Oriental (April 25); in Canlaon City, Negros Oriental and in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental (April 26); and in Loay town and the second branch in Talibon town in Bohol (April 28).
RAFI Micro-finance is currently serving 106,000 micro-entrepreneurs in the provinces of Biliran, Bohol, Cebu, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Siquijor, Negros Oriental Negros Occidental.