In the name of God, most beneficent and merciful!
In the name of God, most beneficent and especially merciful! As we usher in the New Year, we are strongly optimistic about the progress and prosperity of our institution, our bosses, our staff and the country as a whole. This is the year we projected to achieve our long awaited milestone of having 2 million active borrowers in the book. This same year we envision extending a new service as we venture into commercial insurance. While we may start our commercial insurance operations, we will continue our CCS activity of extending death assistance. So let us be inspired by the sacrifices made by our heroes in the year 2019. We will continue to remember them and preserve their legacy; we commit to take care of the families they left behind.
As we look back now, the year 2019 was not easy for us. Despite all the odds, we still need to thank our Almighty God for all the blessings showered upon this foundation. Though we might not have achieved the outreach that we planned, we were however able to achieve our financial goal in full. Our loan portfolio has increased by close to ₱4 billion, which constitutes a 22% growth. 2019 is the year we recorded over 10 thousand full-time staff in our HR pool. This is a landmark achievement in creating jobs, and our foundation is one of the highest employment generating not-for-profit organizations in the Philippines. We are so proud that almost 1/3 of our staff are the children and siblings of our clients.
The natural calamity of earthquake devastated several provinces in Mindanao. Typhoon Tisoy and Ursula massacred most parts of Samar, Leyte and Bicol and some parts of Cebu, Negros and Mindoro. Management is so proud of the selfless action of the staff who spent the entire holidays to continue the relief activities, serving the victims of typhoons and earthquakes. I am personally thankful to all of you, because you have manifestly demonstrated what ASA is. It is to put our bosses before us. That makes ASA true to the service of its clients. We will continue to help rebuild and repair the houses of our clients.
Let us make a commitment to continue to innovate and progress towards always providing the best services to the clients as they are at the center of our vision and mission, and stay ahead in the market. Our ultimate goal is to improve the lives of the poor of the country. We are also committed to mentor our staff to become the best faces of ASA Philippines before the clients. We will build them as successful professionals and as responsible family men and women. The success of our staff either in their profession or family life is our success. When they fail, it is also where ASA fails! Let us help our staff so that they succeed for a good cause always.
Welcoming all of you to a wonderful, progressive and prosperous 2020!
President and CEO
Monday, 6th January 2020
In the name of God, most beneficent and merciful! (KICKING-OFF 2019)
We left behind an incredible year during which we proudly served 1,753,871 client members, an increase of 221,176 clients compared to 2017. I humbly stand before our client members, those who have given ASA Philippines their trust and blessed us with dignity, honor and better financial capability. I deeply believe that we are "dedicated to better the life of the poor" though as it turns out the poor reciprocated more than we ever expected. This incredible performance enjoined us to be more dedicated to our mission to serve the poor. We are forever grateful to them. In our quest to find ways to serve them better, we reemphasized our client community services (CCS). In the year 2018 we spent over ₱377 million under CCS which is equivalent to 17% of our gross revenue or 7% of our net surplus. This ₱377 million is on top of the ₱1.30 billion in discounts we proudly repaid to the clients as rebates on their payments. This total rebate of ₱1.30 billion was made possible because of the tax rebate ASA Philippines received from the government through Republic Act No. 10693. Credit goes to our client members whom we recognize as our "bosses" as all those CCS funds and rebates come from their own contributions.
In this world, whatever we do, be it commercial business or social work, we capitalize on human relationships in combination with our ethics and faith. It is people who make everything possible and it is our faith in God and in our people which make us strong. Our success is deeply rooted in the invaluable relationships established between our client members and our staff. Therefore, major credit goes to our staff, in particular our Micro-Finance Officers (MFOs), our heroes who made this wonderful success a reality. It is our MFOS who risk their lives every working day, drive long distances to serve the neglected poor in very remote areas. I commend all my managerial colleagues who led our hero MFOs in the right direction. Their leadership enabled us to grow our portfolio by 31% from ₱13.44 billion in 2017 to ₱17.66 billion in 2018. Their calculated risk-taking and their ability to inspire our BMs and MFOs were major factors in our success. As almost all of our staff come from a less privileged background, we are an ideal example that the poor can help themselves, therefore ASA Philippines is an effort "of the poor, by the poor, for the poor ".
It is time for us to look into other services we can provide to our clients, what more we can contribute to society. Our intervention in Marawi, helping to rebuild the city with a CCS budget of ₱17 million, shall be replicated in 2019 in other parts of Muslim Mindanao. We hope these interventions will help in the peace process in the areas where peace is elusive.
Wishing all a great year in 2019!
Kamrul Hasan Tarafder
President and CEO
ASA PHILIPPINES FOUNDATION SUCCESSFULLY FLOATS AN INAUGURAL ₱2 BILLION 5-YEAR CORPORATE NOTES ISSUE, THE LARGEST ISSUANCE BY AN NGO TO DATE
In a bid to cater to the needs of more poor and enterprising women entrepreneurs across the country, ASA Philippines tapped the capital markets in January 2017 with an inaugural ₱2 billion 5-year corporate notes issue. This is the largest issuance by an individual microfinance institution, indeed by an NGO, in the country to date. Proceeds of the issue will be used to expand the Foundation’s lending activities and supplementary services to a target 2 million poor clients in the next 5 years.
BPI Capital was the lead arranger of the issue which was syndicated to Bank of the Philippine Islands, Land Bank of the Philippines and Philippine National Bank. Credit Guarantee & Investment Facility, which was established by the 10 members of ASEAN along with Japan, China, South Korea and the Asian Development Bank, guaranteed the issuance.
Venturing into microfinance for the poor, where loans are granted on a 100% collateral free basis, is widely perceived to be quite risky. Thus traditional banks have shied away from serving the financial needs of the poor. ASA Philippines’ exemplary performance, however, gave confidence to these financial institutions. Their strong vote of confidence was demonstrated on the day of issuance when the notes were 2 times oversubscribed. I wish to thank everyone involved in this venture, particularly every single poor client of ASA Philippines who gave her full trust and confidence to the Foundation and diligently paid her obligations thus bringing us to this extraordinary milestone. My deepest thanks to the board and benefactors for approving this transaction which will help us achieve our next target. I pray to God to bless us and guide us to utilize every centavo of this transaction for the benefit of our poor clients and towards the progress of ASA Philippines Foundation!
Kamrul Hasan Tarafder
President and CEO
A HISTORICAL MILESTONE OF HAVING ONE MILLION ACTIVE BORROWERS
Leaving all the doubts behind, overcoming all the challenges along the way, ASA Philippines has finally attained the historical milestone of having over 1 million active borrowers in its account only 11 years from its inception. ASA Philippines was able to show this exponential growth because of its commitment to its borrowers and staff.
We are indeed grateful to our borrowers for the trust and confidence they have shown, embracing our services, and diligently making payments on time. Their continuous patronage and timely payments have made this Foundation sustainable without depending on grants or donations.
We are also grateful to our heroes, the Microfinance Officers of ASA Philippines, who accepted all odd tasks such as attending sitdowns, facing the risk of being held up and meeting motorcycle accidents. Those tasks have led them through the right path, and guided them through the core principles. Heartfelt thanks to all BMs, AAs, RAs, DDs, Directors and Sr. Directors, for the passionate drive for growth that they have demonstrated. Their extraordinary commitment, exemplary passion and commendable integrity made all these possible.
We extend our profound gratitude to the Board, for their full support and guidance.
Most of all, we are thankful to the Almighty for this wonderful gift, guiding us all the way to create this magnificent microfinance organization, not only in the Philippines but in South East Asia and the Pacific.
Kamrul Hasan Tarafder
President and CEO