BPI Direct BanKo, the microfinance arm of the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), is offering various programs that include the newly launched term extension and loan rehab programs to help its micro-entrepreneur clients cope with the pandemic.
Since the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) was implemented on March 15, around 62% of BanKo’s clients had to temporarily stop their operations for over two months. Now that the lockdown has been eased, and as these self-employed micro-entrepreneurs (SEMEs) begin to reopen their businesses, they are faced with new challenges such as lack of working capital, restricted supply sources, and, for some, lower demand.
“Our clients need our support now more than ever. As their partner, we are here to help them revive their businesses for the sake of their families amid these trying times,” said BanKo Head of Financial Inclusion and Microfinance Loans Rod Mabiasen, Jr.
To support SEMEs who are finding it difficult to restart due to depleted cash, BanKo offered the Loan Rehabilitation Fund Program, which allowed existing borrowers to take out another loan to support their businesses. Borrowers can also avail of the Term Extension Program and reschedule their amortization payments based on their new cash flow.
As of August 31, over 4,600 clients have already extended their loan terms, while over 800 NegosyoKo loan clients availed of the Rehab Fund.
Mr. Glenn Leongson, a frozen food vendor from Sta. Maria, Bulacan, got the support he needed from BanKo through the Rehab Fund Program.
“Napakalaking blessing ang binigay ni BanKo sa amin. Sa Loan Rehab Program nila, nabigyan kami ng chance na makabangon. Noong nagsimula ang ECQ, halos lahat ng ipon nagastos na namin kahit sobrang tipid na kami. Kumikita na ulit kami. Kung dati kape lang ang kaya naming bilhin, ngayon may kasama ng tinapay,” Mr. Leongson said.
(BanKo has given us such a huge blessing. Through their Loan Rehab Program, we got the chance to recover. When ECQ started, we had spent all our savings even though we were very frugal in spending. We’re making money again. We have bread now to partner with our coffee.)
BanKo also provides its clients with an easy, hassle-free online banking tool. Through the BanKo mobile app, clients may conveniently monitor their NegosyoKo loans, send payments, and check their balance and transaction history anytime, anywhere. With a few taps, accountholders may also buy prepaid load in any network with rebate, transfer money, and pay bills.
Even in these trying times, BanKo’s sales associates, the BanKoPares and BanKoMares, also continue to check the situation of their clients and teach them ways to sustain their businesses.
“BanKo remains open to guide our clients in facing the new normal. Our micro-entrepreneurs should continue to innovate and explore other digital alternatives to widen their reach. They are also free to get in touch with us so we can explore ways to support them through the new loan programs that we have for them,” Mr. Mabiasen said.
On top of BanKo’s network of 300 branches nationwide, it also has several cash agents including GRJ Jaro, Raquel Pawnshop, Santolan, and Tambunting, where clients may deposit and withdraw from their PondoKo accounts and pay for their NegosyoKo loans.
Since its inception in 2017, BanKo has already served over 120,000 clients nationwide and released Php 12.9 billion in loan disbursements.
Visit BPI Direct BanKo website and follow our Facebook page to learn more about its products and services.
Published on September 2020
Mr. Glenn Leongson, a frozen food vendor from Sta. Maria, Bulacan, is one of the hundreds of NegosyoKo loan clients who availed of BanKo’s Rehab Fund.
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