Celebrating Digital Success: The 2nd Digital Financial Inclusion Awards (DFIA)


2nd Digital Financial Inclusion Awards

On October 24, 2023, the Philippines witnessed a remarkable celebration of digital innovation within the microfinance sector at the 2nd Digital Financial Inclusion Awards (DFIA). This event recognized and rewarded exceptional microentrepreneurs and microfinance institutions (MFIs) that have successfully embraced digital solutions in their operations. Sponsored by the City Foundation in collaboration with the Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc. (MCPI) and supported by the Bangko ng Sentral sa Pilipinas (BSP), the DFIA stands as a testament to the transformative power of digital techniques in uplifting local communities and the nation's economic growth.

The Awardees

The 2nd DFIA witnessed the acknowledgment of twenty outstanding microentrepreneurs whose businesses ranged from food production, poultry, organic products to handicrafts, weaving, and printing. These remarkable individuals were awarded with both cash prizes and laptops, each receiving a well-deserved Php 100,000. The 2023 awardees included Shirley Aguinaldo, Rhodra Angeles, Joseph Amesgado, Normanita Banagudos, and many more. Their achievements serve as inspiring stories of strength, courage, and determination.

In addition to the microentrepreneurs, five distinguished microfinance institutions were also honored during the awarding ceremony. These institutions, including CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institution (CARD MRI), Kabalikat para sa Manunlad na Buhay Inc. (KMBI), Kalayaan sa Ganap na Kasarinlan Credit and Savings Cooperative (K COOP), RAFI Microfinance Inc., and Ruralbank Guinobotan, Inc., each received a cash incentive of Php 100,000. This financial boost was intended to further enhance their digital financial services programs, ensuring that more individuals, particularly micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), benefit from digital financial innovation.

The Impact of Digital Transformation

The success of these awardees, both microentrepreneurs and MFIs, is a testament to the power of digital transformation. BSP Governor Eli M. Remclona Jr. commended the awardees for embracing digital techniques and urged them to serve as models for their peers. He emphasized the need for an enabling regulatory environment to enable more MSMEs to benefit from digital financial innovation.

Citi Phils CEO Paul Favila expressed awe at the achievements of the award recipients, especially given the challenging times they have faced. He recognized the pivotal role of microfinance institutions that have proactively taken steps toward digital transformation while continuously supporting and empowering microentrepreneurs. Favila stressed that behind each success story lies an inspiring narrative of strength, courage, and determination, contributing to Citi Foundation's mission of enabling economic progress and improving the lives of people in low-income communities worldwide.

The Future of Financial Inclusion

The 2nd Digital Financial Inclusion Awards (DFIA) serves as an inspiration and motivation for microentrepreneurs and microfinance institutions to embrace digital solutions. These digital innovations will further expand digitalization in businesses, empowering local communities and contributing to the economic growth of the Philippines.

DFIA, an evolution of the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards, continues to raise awareness about the importance of microentrepreneurship and microfinance in supporting financial inclusion and economic empowerment for low-income individuals. It highlights the ongoing commitment of the City Foundation and MCPI in strengthening financial inclusion in the Philippines and celebrating the achievements of those who are at the forefront of this digital transformation.

The 2nd Digital Financial Inclusion Awards (DFIA) is a celebration of digital success within the microfinance sector in the Philippines. The recognition of outstanding microentrepreneurs and microfinance institutions for their embrace of digital solutions is a testament to their resilience, innovation, and determination. The impact of their achievements is far-reaching, with the potential to transform the landscape of financial inclusion and empower local communities for the country's economic growth. The DFIA continues to be a beacon of inspiration and a catalyst for positive change in the realm of financial inclusion and economic empowerment.