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125. CARD MBA’s microinsurance model takes hold across Asia

Browse coop database > about this coop
Coop Name: CARD Mutual Benefit Association N° of Employees: 203
City: San Pablo City N° of Members: 1448096
Country: Philippines Year of formation: 1999
Website: http://cardbankph.com/wp_cardbankph/mba/
About this coop:

The Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD) was established in 1986 as a non-profit, non-political foundation. On April 1988 it started its operations with a training and livelihood assistance program for landless coconut workers. In January 1989, CARD pilot-tested a modified Grameen Bank scheme in four villages of San Pablo City, Laguna. The results were positive and it thus became a full-scale program in 1990. In support of CARD’s goal to empower members, the management of the MMF (Members’ Mutual Fund) was officially turned over to the members on September 9, 1999 during a 2-day workshop held in San Pablo City. The fund henceforth assumed a new name, the CARD Mutual Benefit Association, Inc. (CARD MBA), a separate legal entity owned and managed by the members.

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“I guess we are very lucky in the Philippines because our government – the Insurance Commission – has been very supportive in the kind of work that we do,” says Aris Alip. “They believe that empowering the poor through owning microinsurance companies is the best manifestation of poverty eradication.”

Alip is the managing director of CARD MBA, which has been behind not only the development of the microinsurance industry in the Philippines, but throughout South-East Asia.

The cooperative model of insurance has been so successful that it has been replicated by CARD MBA in other Asian countries including Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia. “We’’re also pursuing in Laos, we will also go to Myanmar, so we can replicate the CARD MBA model,” says Alip. But he is also aware of the need to work with governments outside the Philippines to provide a policy environment in which cooperatives can flourish.

While Alip is at the forefront of this growth, he’’s also a big proponent of the need to introduce standards in the microinsurance industry. It is a specialized industry which needs a responsive touch, he says. “We pay within a day or three days or five days at the maximum because when you’’re dealing with the poor, they need these funds very badly,” says Alip.

This story is an IYC Yearbook feature: http://ica.coop/en/iycbook

Author of this story
Kate Askew
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