From Dependence to Opportunity: Globe and DSWD Empower Communities with the Power to Save

Saturday, July 6, 2013

More than just providing access to financial services, Globe and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has instilled a culture of saving among rural communities and marginalized groups since the introduction of mobile savings in 2012.

DSWD Conditional Cash Transfer beneficiaries opened their first bank account and have learned how to save through the Globe-DSWD partnership.
Since May last year, the telecom company has been working with the DSWD to aid Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) beneficiaries with sustainability skills by offering them opportunities to open their first bank account through BPI Globe BanKO, the country’s first mobile-based savings bank. The CCT or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is the national government’s social development strategy which provides conditional cash grants to extremely poor households to improve health and nutrition conditions, as well as education opportunities.

According to DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman, “The financial inclusion program in partnership with Globe Bridging Communities has created a big demand from the DSWD's CCT beneficiaries for the services of BPI Globe BanKO.” The partnership between DSWD and Globe, inked in 2012, sought to strengthen the socio-economic capacity of beneficiaries of the CCT program.

The program was first rolled out in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) wherein Baguio weavers and rural communities opened their first bank account using the Globe Bridging Communities (GBC) SIM card. The Benguet region is a Community of Practice (CoP) area where all the advocacies of the company—good governance, social entrepreneurship, environment conservation, access to education and social services delivery through the use of ICT, and volunteerism through active citizenship—are all synergized through partnerships with community-based organizations.

The SIM cards were donated by Globe and also allow cheaper means of communication for the beneficiaries, offering them discounted rates on SMS and calls.

With only an initial deposit of P50, CCT beneficiaries in the Cordillera area were able to open their first bank account. The bank accounts may be accessed using a mobile phone and does not require a maintaining balance. Accounts are bundled with life insurance and cash-in and cash-out transactions may be done from ATMS or through partner outlets such as pawnshops and local drugstores. The savings may also be converted into pre-paid load, offering CCT beneficiaries a venue for additional income through retail sales.

In just nine months, 3,603 savings accounts have been opened by DSWD CCT beneficiaries with an average increase of 79% in savings from their initial deposit.
                 
“More than just bridging CCT beneficiaries to BPI Globe BanKO and making the banking system more inclusive to the underserved population, our partnership with the DSWD hopes to transform communities and arm them with sustainability skills. Globe also assists the DSWD in providing computer-literacy training sessions, capacity-building and business training,” shared Yoly Crisanto, Head of Globe Corporate Communications.
                 
“Currently, DSWD regional offices have been expressing their requests for more caravans so that more CCT beneficiaries can open savings accounts,” added Soliman. The caravans act as account-opening events for CCT beneficiaries nationwide. “Empowerment of the beneficiaries now also becomes more holistic: as they continue to get additional income from their employment or microenterprises, they also learn to set aside extra money to save for future unexpected expenses.”
                 

The partnership with the DSWD is under the i-Prosper program of Globe Bridging Communities, the corporate social responsibility arm of Globe Telecom. The i-Prosper program works with social enterprises and micro-entrepreneurs to establish sustainable forms of livelihood for marginalized sectors nationwide and aims to introduce income-generating opportunities through capacity development and provision of capital and market access.

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