First Kaunlaran Caravan in 2020 goes ‘home’

The Kaunlaran Caravan has flown to various provinces in the Philippines since its inception in 2017. For its first leg this year, the caravan goes back to Laguna, the home province of its implementor CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institution (CARD MRI).

“After bringing our services to local communities around the country, it’s about time that we reach out to communities in Laguna where CARD started. We have chosen to take Kaunlaran Caravan to Sta. Maria since it is the furthermost municipality in Laguna,” said CARD MRI Managing Director Flordeliza Sarmiento.

Sta. Maria is a 4th class municipality in Laguna and has a population of 30, 830. CARD MRI has more than 6,000 clients coming from its two financial institutions located in the municipality namely, CARD, Inc. (A microfinance NGO) and CARD MRI Rizal Bank. In addition, 80% of Sta. Maria’s population has insurance coverage  through CARD’s microinsurance program.

Kaunlaran Caravan is a quarterly activity of CARD MRI that brings community development programs to different provinces in the Philippines. The program offers free medical, optical, dental and pre-natal check-ups. A mass wedding is also held along with a livelihood training and microinsurance orientation.

Financial literacy through storytelling and health education is also offered in the one-day activity. Services such as free haircut, nail cleaning and massage are also provided to promote total wellness and proper  hygiene. The activity is primarily for CARD microfinance clients and their dependents and to the general public.

Additionally, there will be an orientation regarding COVID-19 to educate the community on the virus and its health hazards and to provide information on how to prevent possible transmission. “Our institution is concerned about the continuous spread of misinformation on the disease that could cause panic in a community. In a rural community like Sta. Maria, it is important to educate the people with right information about COVID-19 and how to prevent getting infected by it,” Microfinance and Health Protection (MaHP) Director Dr. Roderick Belen said.

“As the needs of our clients continue to evolve, we will continue to improve on how we deliver these services by adding programs that could bring positive change to the communities.” Sarmiento added.

The caravan has taken its free services to ten provinces benefitting 4,000 individuals since 2017. This year, the Kaunlaran Caravan will take its services to three more provinces in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao to reach more families and communities with its social development services.


CARD MRI is a group of 23 social development institutions that is committed to provide relevant programs and services to achieve sustainable development goals and eradicate poverty. It was established in December 1986 and is based in San Pablo, Laguna. As of January 2020, it has served 6.7 Million clients and has insured more than 27 Million individuals. It has more than 3,600 offices with 19,027 staff nationwide.