MADISON, Wis. — Former President of the Republic of the Philippines Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has awarded World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) a presidential commendation in recognition of its credit union development work in the island nation. The honor commends WOCCU for "its steadfast support, vital partnership and full cooperation with the Philippine government...and to the upliftment of the lives and welfare of the Filipino people."
"We're honored by the recognition WOCCU has received for its work in the Philippines," said Pete Crear, WOCCU president and CEO. "We hope our efforts in support of Philippine credit union development have made a significant difference in the lives of the members they serve."
The citation specifically recognizes the ways in which WOCCU's work supported "Beat the Odds," a long-term social and economic initiative by Macapagal-Arroyo, whose term ended June 30. The Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), part of the Philippines' Department of Finance, praised WOCCU for its technical support and financial assistance, particularly in identifying institutional gaps and furthering CDA's capabilities in light of credit union legislation passed several years ago.
"WOCCU also assisted CDA in the development and enhancement of new tools, systems and mechanisms, allowing us to provide quality service to the cooperative sector in the Philippines," wrote Lecira Juarez, chairperson of CDA and graduate of WOCCU's Credit Union Empowerment and Strengthening (CUES) executive training programs, in a letter accompanying the presidential citation. The honor was first announced just prior to the end of Macapagal-Arroyo's term in June.
WOCCU provided development assistance to credit unions in the Philippines from 1997 to 2010, focusing on model credit union building and institutional branding. WOCCU's Philippines program also promoted savings and credit education for poor women entrepreneurs, created the Model Credit Union Network and provided executive-level training of CDA staff to help prepare the agency to assume its role as regulator of the Philippine credit union sector.
In 2002, the National Credit Union Foundation honored the CUES program in the Philippines with the prestigious Herb Wegner Memorial Award. The honor was presented that February at Credit Union National Association's Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C.
According to WOCCU's 2009 Statistical Report, 1,276 credit unions in the Philippines served 2.2 million members last year.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 57,000 credit unions in 105 countries serve 217 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.