BPI Direct Banko encourages clients to adapt to new normal
Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) - May 29, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The microfinance arm of the Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI), BPI Direct Banko, urged micro-entrepreneurs to continue conducting business amid COVID-19 crisis.

Since the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) was implemented on March 15, 62 percent of BanKo’s clients had to temporarily stop their operations.

Despite the challenges of the lockdown, BanKo Head of Microfinance Loans Rodolfo “Rod” Mabiasen Jr. urged SEMEs to find ways to bring their products closer to their customers via digital platforms.

“Our clients need to adapt to this new normal. They can offer their products in social media and also partner with delivery services or deliver the products to their customers themselves,” he said.

Noting that health and safety should still be prioritized, Mabiasen said, “Our self-employed micro-entrepreneurs should take care of themselves and stay healthy so they can continue to run their businesses actively. They’re the most important resources of their businesses.”

Among the active 96,000 BanKo SEMEs is Mayumi Mallari, a seafood vendor in Cubao’s Nepa Q Mart, who took advantage of social media to reach more customers. She started to offer her wide variety of products from crab, shrimp, squid, tilapia, catfish, seaweeds, and other seafood through Facebook. She added fruits and vegetables so customers have more options.

“Biglang nawala ang mga customers namin, 50 percent halos ay canteen at restaurants. Ang bayarin naman po sa pwesto at pasweldo sa mga tauhan namin ay diretso pa rin. Kailangan naming mag-isip ng paraan para patuloy na kumita,” Mallari said.

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