CARD Bank Microentrepreneur Client hailed as Citi Regional Awardee 2019
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Citi Foundation, and Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc. (MCPI) awarded eight outstanding microentrepreneurs in the country for the 2019 Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards on November 26, 2019.
Among the 141 nominees from 31 different institutions across the country who competed for the award, Lucrecia Neri, a microentrepreneur client of CARD Bank from Midsayap, North Cotabato was recognized as Citi Regional Awardee for Mindanao held at BSP Headquarters, Malate, Manila.
Lucrecia is the owner of Mannaâ€™s Alternative Herbal Products and Atimana Organic Hub. She started with a production of turmeric tea, mangosteen tea, and rice coffee. â€œIt was in 1999 when I was diagnosed with cancer, and then I learned about the benefits we could get from the turmeric,â€ said Lucrecia Neri.
Lucrecia added that after her medical operation, she is the first one who tried her product. â€œAfter doing further research on turmeric, I tried it and believed that through this, it bested my cancer.â€
She eventually ventured out in capsuling these as health supplements. She added that she started with just a mortar and pestle and some turmeric.
â€œItâ€™s very difficult in the beginning since many find it very old and traditional, but I believe in my product since I am the living testimony that it is effective in curing cancer,â€ she explained.
Now, her products are sold outside Cotabato, and reaching the mainstream market in Luzon and Visayas.
â€œCARD Bank plays a very important role in the success I am experiencing today. The institution helped me more than the financial access they provided for me,â€ she added.
She also encouraged her employees to be CARD Bank clients where they can develop good financial habits through the weekly training sessions conducted by the institution.
â€œIâ€™m grateful for the opportunity CARD Bank has given me. I will continue my advocacy in promoting organic farming and help the underprivileged in our community,â€ she concluded.
Citi Microentrepreneurs AwardsÂ
The Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards (CMA) is a six months nationwide search for the outstanding microentrepreneurs across the country to celebrate and honor their achievements in overcoming their struggles as they bring their business in the mainstream market. Their efforts helped them improve their quality of lives with their families and contributing to the growth of their local economy by generating income activities to their community.
â€œIts our way of recognizing our microentrepreneurs who have beaten the odds and lifted themselves and others out of poverty, and it would not be possible without the unwavering strong support from microfinance institutions as partners in providing financial inclusion and enterprise development for all,â€ said BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno.
He stated that the partnership between MCPI and Citi Philippines remains one of BSPâ€™s foundation in stakeholder engagement for financial inclusion. â€œThis activity highlights how these microentrepreneurs serve as models of sharing their stories on winning struggles with their hard work and determination to succeed to their fellow microentrepreneurs.â€
CARD Bank vows support for microentreprenurs
According to CARD Bank President and CEO Marivic Austria, the award is a manifestation of how microfinance helped in eradicating poverty in the country.
â€œWe are happy that another client from us is recognized again as an outstanding microentreprenuer, we believe that through our financial and non-financial services, we are steps closer towards our mission in eradicating poverty in the Philippines,â€ said Marivic Austria, President and CEO.
She also added that the institution will continue its goal to strengthen and support the microentrepreneurs nationwide.
â€œWe are very proud to be part of every clientâ€™s success in pursuing their dreams to reach the success, and this is our commitment on reaching our mission to end poverty in the country,â€ she concluded.
2019 Citi Regional Awardee for Mindanao Lucrecia Neri (center) receives her award from Citi Philippines CEO Aftab Ahmed (left) with her husband Virgilio (right).Â