ASKI was officially registered with the Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC) on March 23, 1987 under the name "Alalay sa Kaunlaran sa
Gitnang Luzon, Incorporated" as a non-stock, non-profit organization
committed to the promotion and development of micro and small-to-medium
enterprises and the delivery of social services.
In 1995, seeing the needs of its clients in times of sickness, ASKI,
through its Credit Risk Guarantee Fund (CRGF), started giving financial
assistance to its clients for their hospitalization and medical expenses,
Php1,000 if a client gets hospitalized and Php500 if his/her spouse or
dependent child suffered illness and was hospitalized. ASKI also gave
donations to the bereaved family of the client in times of death.
Further, in 1999, recognizing that the said financial assistance is
not sufficient as a response to the difficulties encountered by the
clients and their families in time of death and/or serious illness
and also, in order to mitigate the risk of accounts becoming uncollectible due
to death and disability, ASKI introduced the Mutual Aid Fund (MAF) Program. In
this program, in addition to membership fees, clients contributed a certain amount
upon the death or disability of a MAF member or upon the death of his/her legal
spouse or legitimate fully-dependent child. The amount contributed, net of
outstanding loan balance with ASKI, is awarded to the bereaved client and/or his/her
beneficiaries to help ease-out the expenses related to death or sickness.
This later evolved into clients paying fixed amounts upon every loan renewal
instead of paying their actual contribution. The transition was decided on the
basis of a growing outreach of ASKI, which would support the possible claim for
benefits. This would also simplify the collection and monitoring process of the
program. As per analysis of the actual contributions received from clients and the
benefits awarded to clients and their families, the Organization decided to fix the
contribution to P350 every loan release.
The MAF Program, however, though was able to lessen the credit risk of the
Organization, because of its limited fund base, was faced with another risk of
exhausting its program fund and not being able to pay for the benefits due to its
member clients. However, with the Organization's aim to continually improve its
services to its clients, while limiting the possible risks involved in implementing
its programs, ASKI introduced its new MAF Program, wherein clients are enrolled in
an External Insurance Provider.
True to its vision of a transformed and progressive community, ASKI joined other
microfinance institutions (MFIs) in organizing the RIMANSI MI - MBA Association of
the Philippines, Inc., an institution that would help MFIs in setting-up their own
mutual benefit associations. Thus, through the help of RIMANSI MI and CARD Mutual
Benefit Association, the first MBA emanating from an MFI, Alalay sa Kaunlaran Inc.
Mutual Benefit Association (ASKI MBA) was born. On June 21, 2006, ASKI MBA was
officially registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a
non-stock, non-profit organization. And on October 5, 2006, ASKI MBA was issued a
license to operate by the Insurance Commission (IC). In December 2006, ASKI MBA
pilot-tested its program in Urdaneta Branch and on January 2007, officially started
The dream of having a mutual benefit association was a move to attain the triple
bottom line, that is, outreach, viability and transformation. ASKI hopes to increase
its number of clients catered through the MBA by providing services to the unserved
portion of the poor. Through the MBA, ASKI will be able to cover its clients, their
spouses and a maximum of three of their legitimate and fully-dependent children.
Because it underwent professional actuarial study and is being regulated by the
Insurance Commission, which is very supportive of microinsurance, viability is
certain. With the strict government regulations, including the required starting
guaranty deposit of Php5 Million to the Insurance Commission, benefits to members
are assured. As of December 31, 2015, after nine (9) of operations, ASKI MBA had a
total of 148,968 members and covered about 595,872 dependents over seventy-two (72)
ASKI branches. Net income for the year was about Php16.7 Million.
On the aspect of transformation, the products and services were designed to cater
to the needs of the clients based on a survey and actuarial study. The insurance
benefit, Php120,000, serves as a safety net for the clients and their families in
time of loss.
Transformation is also evident in allowing the members, the clients themselves,
to own and manage the MBA. With the MBA, each client has a chance to become an MBA
Coordinator or a member of the ASKI MBA Board of Trustees. The members elect an MBA
Coordinator from among the clients of each branch. The MBA Coordinator is a bridge
between the members and ASKI. They are in-charged of validating membership and
benefit claims. Also, five out of seven members of the ASKI MBA Board are ASKI
clients. The founding Board, Mr. Jovito Pulido, the former board president, is a
bakery owner and had been an ASKI client for almost five years. He both served as
the Center Chief and the president of the Clients General Assembly in ASKI Tayug
Branch. Mrs. Cleotilde Agdagdag, the former board vice-president, owned a "sari-sari
store (variety community store)" and served as Center Chief under the Trust
Bank Program. Former board secretary, Ms. Virginia Sto. Nino, who also owns a
"sari-sari store", has been a loyal client under the Individual Lending Program.
Mrs. Dina Lava, started as a pastry vendor, now manages her own catering and
restaurant business. And lastly, Mrs. Evelyn Pendon, previous board member, owns a
handicraft business; producing products made from capiz shells. As members of the
board they are provided for with trainings on leadership and governance and
exposure trips on microinsurance operations. Part of their training is the
presence of two representatives from the ASKI Board and management in the ASKI MBA
Board; two seats are allotted for ASKI. In this way, as board members, these
clients are equipped with know-how and skills in microinsurance and can now
participate in the policy and decision-making of their own mutual benefit
association. With ASKI MBA, they can now share leadership skills to the community
by ensuring a well-managed and client-sensitive microinsurance program.
Thus, we can say that ASKI MBA truly is a venue to empower the poor.