CARD implements one-month moratorium for clients
The financial institutions of CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI) have suspended its microfinance operations from March 17 to April 12, 2020. This is in response to the recent declaration by the Philippine Government of an enhanced community quarantine due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
While the obligation for weekly loan payments are lifted until the resumption of its operations, CARD Main Bank Branches will remain open so that clients can perform transactions such as deposits and withdrawals. These bank branches will open at 9:00AM and close at the latest 3:00PM, as there are branches which are locally required to close earlier than 3:00PM. Likewise, bank clients can still transact through ATMS, Digital Cash Machines, and the konek2CARD app. Savings withdrawals can also be facilitated by konek2CARD agents of CARD Banking Group.
“This is our effort to show our sympathy and concern to our clients in these trying times,” said Dr. Jaime Aristotle B. Alip, CARD MRI Founder and Chairman Emeritus. “We understand that our clients would face liquidity problems and potential losses. It is through implementing moratorium that we can support them.”
CARD MRI Managing Director Flordeliza Sarmiento also added that other essential services will still be provided. “COVID-19 is a serious health threat thus we know that this is the time when we are needed by our clients and staff the most. Our clinics and laboratory are still open for our clients and staff while our pharmacy, BotiCARD, will remain open to the general public,” she explained.
CARD Mutual Benefit Association, the insurance arm of CARD MRI, will also be on moratorium for its insurance contributions but will still process and disburse claims benefits. Clients may settle their claims in CARD MBA Provincial Offices and the main bank branches of CARD Bank, CARD SME Bank, and CARD MRI Rizal Bank.
CARD MRI is a group of institutions that aims to eradicate poverty through microfinance and other development-oriented programs. Of its member institutions, those offering the moratorium are CARD, Inc. (A Microfinance NGO), CARD Bank, CARD SME Bank, and CARD MRI Rizal Bank. CARD MRI has 6.7 Million clients, 19,027 staff, and 3,241 offices nationwide. Considered the largest in the microfinance industry, CARD MRI is an important catalyst in the country’s economy down to the community level, as it provides capital that enables poor households to engage in microenterprises as well as generating jobs directly and indirectly.
United as one
CARD MRI also joins other members of the two largest microfinance networks in the country, Alliance of Philippine Partners in Enterprise Development (APPEND, Inc.) and Microfinance Council, in the battle against COVID-19.
Insurance services and claims of these microfinance institutions (MFIs) remain uninterrupted.
Further, these MFIs will continue paying for the salaries of their more than 50,000 staff during this period of community quarantine.
True to their collective vision of ending poverty in the Philippines, the microfinance industry vows to fulfill its commitment to serve the most vulnerable population even in challenging times like the COVID-19 outbreak.