The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of San Carlos (USC)-College of Commerce and PinoyME Foundation last March 2.
RAFI Micro-finance executive director Ma. Theresa G. Catipay, USC President Fr. Dionisio M. Miranda, SVD, and PinoyME Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Danilo Songco represented the three parties in the signing of the MOU.
According to Songco, around 10,000 people are needed to fill the vacancies of the micro-finance sector in the Philippines.
The MOU will help address this. It was initiated to confirm the collaboration of the three institutions towards the offering of micro-finance education.
The signing of the MOU came about after the Partner’s Forum on Dual Training System-Competency Based Education of the Micro-finance Capacity Program held at USC last March 1.
Under the MOU, which seals a cooperation that is considered the first of its kind in the Visayas, USC will integrate micro-finance courses in its Business Administration curriculum by rolling out a ladderized program using a competency-based curriculum and a dual training system (DTS). The DTS will provide students with two venues of learning—the school and the industry—where they can learn how to be a competent loan officer, team leader, and branch manager.
RAFI Micro-finance, as a partner, will cooperate with USC in order to enhance the capability of their human resource and that of the micro-finance sector in general. It will also serve as a venue for students to be exposed and trained in micro-finance operations.
With the support of Hanns Seidel Foundation/Germany, PinoyME will provide USC the necessary technical support, including the competency-based curriculum, the copyrighted learning materials, technical assistance, and training of faculty on dual training system management, among others. PinoyME Foundation is a non-stock, non-profit organization that engages in social investment banking for microfinance institutions.
In this program, students learn the principles and concepts of the micro-finance industry. They will also be extensively exposed to the field by doing the tasks of a regular micro-finance institution (MFI) operational employee, depending on the agreement.
The planned curriculum is also ladderized, allowing a student to go through the six-month TESDA-accredited certificate course for loan officers then be employed after the course. If the student would be more persistent to complete the four-year course, he or she will then be graduating equipped with the competencies of an MFI branch manager. A two-year associate course is also available. At the end of each course, the student has a very high chance of being employed directly by an MFI.
Rigorous monitoring and evaluation will be done to assess the implementation of the program. It aims to produce 1,000 graduates per year to be deployed to various MFIs in the area.
Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI), University of San Carlos (USC), and PinoyME Foundation inked a memorandum of understanding that will benefit the micro-finance sector in the Philippines. Present during the signing were (L-R) Challoner Matero, assistant dean of the USC College of Commerce; Teresa Pono, project director AFOS (Assistance for the Fortification of Social Organizations)