THE Cooperative Bank of Misamis Oriental (CBMO) is branching out to other parts of Mindanao this year.

And with the expansion, Estephen Kionisala, supervisor of CBMO-Villanueva branch, said CBMO would change its name to Cooperative Bank of Mindanao by next year.

The CBMO started in Misamis Oriental in 1979 with its main office located at the back of the Provincial Capitol. It has seven branches in other areas of the province and one branch each in Davao and General Santos.

Kionisala said they would be putting up additional branches in other parts of Mindanao.

The bank has been a hall of famer of Pitak Awards of Land Bank of the Philippines as most outstanding cooperative bank and is acknowledged by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

The CBMO specializes on micro-financing loans as it offers affordable technical and financial services to micro-entrepreneurs to help them expand their business and increase their income.

Kionisala said CBMO offers the lowest interest rate on micro-financing program with only two percent monthly interest as compared to the famous “five-six” lending scheme of the “Bombays.”

“As compared to our coop, we encourage our members to save money since we require compulsory savings during collection period,” he said.

In a way, he said getting a loan is not all about borrowing but saving money as well.

“Unlike other cooperative wherein you invest your savings before you can loan depending on the amount saved, at CBMO, we allow borrowers to lend money from us without any collateral as long as you are in good standing with no record from other lenders and you also have a small-scale business,” Kionisala said.

Presently, CBMO has more than 3,000 members enrolled in its micro-financing program.

“We also offer regular loan for industrial, commercial, agricultural and salary loans, depending on the members’ need. But to avail of all these services, one must be a member first,” Kionisala said.

Every year, he said CBMO allocates P28 million to every branch to be lend out to borrowers.

With this, Kionisala said they also expect the borrowers to pay their obligation religiously.

article by Nicole J. Managbanag of Sun Star CDO

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