Batch 4 graduates of the Master in Productivity and Quality Management-Major in Microfinance under the Development Academy of the Philippines Graduate School of Public and Development Management are shown with DAP President Elba Cruz (fourth from right, third row) and other officials during their graduation at the DAP Conference Center in Tagaytay. (Photo by J.C. Soriano)

Development Academy of the Philippines President and Chief Executive Officer Elba S. Cruz recently told the fourth batch of graduates of the Master in Productivity and Quality Management-Major in Microfinance (MPQM-MF) that they can play an important role in alleviating poverty among the Filipino people.  This can be achieved by strengthening the rural extension system across the country that would pave the way for the development of small entrepreneurs and enterprises, creation of jobs and related rural activities.

Dr. Cruz said that this would help all members of institutions under the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development and Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD-MRI), including small and medium enterprises, banks, insurance companies, nongovernment institutions, information technology companies and other business ventures, elevate their lives from poverty through the different services extended to them by the CARD-MRI.

Master’s degree program

The MPQM-MF is a master’s degree program that aims to develop the management and leadership skills of area managers and regional directors of the CARD-MRI in various municipalities and cities in the country.  The program, which graduated 39 participants under the latest batch, seeks to institutionalize best practices in productivity and quality in the field of microfinance within a business and development environment as it tries to enable program participants to reach more micro small entrepreneurs and make a greater impact on the quality of their lives.

The DAP and the CARD-MRI have partnered to implement this program for the past seven years.

Majority in rural areas

“The MPQM-MF, to a large extent, has been grounded on the recognition that a majority of the country’s population occupies the rural areas and that most of these people derive their livelihood from agriculture, or by providing livelihood to agricultural and related enterprises through the value chain that involves all members of CARD-MRI institutions,” Cruz said.

Microfinance Council of the Philippines President Fr. Jose Victor Lobrigo, as guest speaker at the graduation rites, thanked the DAP and CARD-MRI for playing a major role in the propagation of the microfinance movement, which, he said, is a vital factor in achieving social equity.

Also in attendance at the graduation ceremonies were Dr. Aristotle Alip, CMDI founder and a DAP Eminent Fellow; CARD-MRI Managing Director Flordeliza Sarmiento; the entire Executive Committee of the CARD-MRI; and DAP Graduate School Dean Dr. Theresita Atienza.