SCMPC's Credit Facility Puts Two Women Way to Their Millions
ANTIPAS, Cotabato Province-In this hinterland municipality, two siblings, in span of six years, made almost a million worth of properties each from a P10,000 loan they both availed from a credit facility of a Cooperative that now has P114-million worth of assets from only P7,000 it started 20 years ago.
Nena Seballos, 35, and her sister Melsa Tayuntong, 42, are among some of the 1,076 members of the Antipas chapter of the Sta. Catalina Multi-Purpose Cooperative, which now has over 5,000 members in all of its seven branches in the provinces of North Cotabato, South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat. Both siblings, who became members of the SCMPC here in 2001, started availing loan of P10,000 each but are now eligible for P300,000 worth of credit access after proving themselves capable of sound business management.
Ma. Fe Pineda, assistant general manager of the SCMPC, recalls that Nena's justification for applying for a P10,000 loan in 2001 was to augment the motorcycle repair shop of her husband Rodolfo, a mechanic that specializes in motorcycle engine. The loan was intended for a wielding machine, which was favorably endorsed by credit investigators who reasoned out that the "very rugged" road in Antipas has caused frequent wielding needs of motorcycles and other vehicles.
Pineda said Melsa's first loan was intended as added capital to what was once a small sari-sari store. "We observed that vending rice was a fast-growing business for her so we did not hesitate to lend her added capital so she could have enough supply that would save her transportation cost and time in purchasing stocks," she said.
How they did it?
"I actually added P20,000 from other sources to the P10,000 loan I availed of from the Coop," Nena said in an interview while she was also attending to customers at her small hardware that supplies purely motorcycle parts. In Antipas, motorcycles serve as the main mode of transporting people and their agriculture produce.
"There is no way you will fail if you will religiously spend the money to where it is really intended for," said Melsa in a separate interview at her sari-sari store that also sells rice and animal feeds, houses a computer café and a billiard table for rent.
If Nena has a mini-hardware that also supplies the needs of her husband Rodolfo's repair shop, Melsa's hog and poultry supply business likewise supplies the need of her husband Ronilo's piggery and poultry, creating captured market for the respective businesses they started with.
Ronilo, who has 50 heads of swine and has just started with 30 chickens, said "what is important in this business endeavor is to simply follow the feeding instruction and close supervision."
Still loaning yearly
Nena and Melsa have, since 2001, been yearly applying for loan and each of them are now eligible for a P300,000 worth of loan with the SCMPC-the most recent that they availed themselves of was over P200,000 each.
Nena and Melsa, whom Pineda describes to be among the SCMPC's "good creditors," no longer need additional capital for the respective businesses they started with but still, they keep on availing loan yearly.
Nena justified that she now spends only 25 percent of her loan from SCMPC to augment her hardware and repair shop businesses and spends the rest to "other investments."
Joemar Lavilla, manager of the Antipas chapter of the SCMPC, said that both Nena and Melsa have been buying agricultural lands planted either with rubber tree or rice and corn fields, the "other investments" that Nena earlier mentioned.
A mirror image
The "meteoric rise" in the respective businesses of the siblings "appears a mirror image of the Cooperative" that started in 1986 with 46 members who were able to raise only P7,000 capital but now has P114-million worth of assets owned by its already more than 5,000 members in President Roxas, where the Coop started, Antipas, Mlang, and Midsayap, and the city of Kidapawan in North Cotabato, and, the cities of Tacurong in Sultan Kudarat and Koronadal in South Cotabato.
The siblings' success also "epitomizes a sound management" of the initial fund of P3-million loaned to the SCMPC by the Federation of Peoples' Sustainable Development Cooperative in 2001 and has now ballooned to P7-million.
SCMPC General Manager Edgar Amoronio said that the P3-million is over and above the marketing fund of P2-million that FPSDC also loaned to them. In 1998, he said that FPSDC also assisted them in putting up a rice mill.
Pineda identified three main factors that led to the success of the SCMPC, which she said are the similar elements that led to the success of the individual projects of their beneficiary-members.
"On our part, I believe it is 1) proper identification of beneficiaries, 2) proper implementation of projects, and 3) close monitoring," she said in an interview at her office here that is known by the community as "the bank," owing to its finance institution functions.
Pineda said that the FPSDC had always been there to assist them in trainings intended to ensure proper management of the fund they have extended them and "almost all other aspects of running a cooperative." She enumerated, among others, "1) micro finance best practices, 2) jewelry appraisal, market survey in micro finance, and many other skills trainings" that the FPSDC conducted for SCMPC officers and members.
Amoronio says that the finance management systems aided by new software have also helped in the success of all their projects, especially the Coop's "strict adherence" to the principles and guidelines set during their Credit Union Empowerment Strengthening seminar.
Crucial and important
In the processing of loan applications, Pineda said that their Credit Investigators play "very crucial and important role." They have to evaluate the viability of the project applied for against actual capitalization need in relation to the capacity of the market to absorb the goods," she added.
In a number of cases, the SCMPC had to recommend other projects to some applicants whose proposals have failed initial evaluation. "We have to disapprove some and recommend other projects for them if we find their proposals not feasible," Pineda said while enumerating sari-sari store, eatery, fish vending and meat vending to be among those projects that they have approved.
In this hinterland municipality, where SCMPC invested the P3-million seed fund from the FPSDC, Lavilla said, will soon be established an "ATM machine sa bukid (mountain)."
Lavilla said that the ATM machine will not only serve its members but the entire community as well.
It will also help the workers of the Natures Land Agricultural Plantation (NLAP), which has contracted the SCMPC to "disburse the salary" of the agricultural workers.
Pineda said that the contract they have with the NLAP has invited more workers to become members of the Coop while even non-member employees were required to open a savings account with the SCMPC. "While we do not charge service fees, we are able to generate internal funds with this arrangement," she said.
After opening its newest chapter in Koronadal City last June 17, Pineda said they need again additional seed money for lending because the chapter has already been disbursing "over a million pesos in a month," a reason she cited why the SCMPC has to "start looking for more partners" to help them finance the economic activities of the new chapter. "We are praying the FPSDC would continue partnering with us," she said.