By Richa Noriega
The foundation of the late former President Corazon Aquino, created 12 years ago to give financial assistance to the poor, would be closing down due to lack of financial support.
The PinoyME Foundation is set to close by the end of August, almost 10 years after the late former President Aquino died of colon cancer.
PinoyME has worked with over 100 microfinance institutions in giving loans to rural micro-entrepreneurs. It helped grow more than 11,000 microenterprises in different provinces in the span of 12 years.
According to Danilo Songco, President and CEO of PinoyMe, the former president liked the concept of microfinance, particularly when she saw some female beneficiaries, armed only with deep courage, find fulfillment in life because of their accomplishments.
“Yung PinoyME medyo nagtransform siya nung unang ginawa siya ni tita Cory. Ang intention was to have microfinacing institutions in the Philippines pero eventually we transform ourselves into a rural enterprising incubator,” Songco said in an interview with ABS-CBN.
“Ibig sabihin tinutulungan namin yung mga maliliit na magsasaka na maging commercial maging entrepreneurs, maging commercially successful,” he added.
Susana Leuterio, one of the beneficiaries of micro financing institution, said the institution helped her sustain the financial needs of her eight children.
“Dinadagdag ko sa paninda ko, tapos sa pag-aaral ng mga anak ko ilan pa ang pinagaaral ko lima,” Leuterio told ABS-CBN.
However, Songco said when the late former president Aquino died, the micro finance firms were greatly affected primarily with the lack of financial support.
“Ang sabi ng board ‘wag na nating hintayin na wala na tayong pangsweldo sa mga tao, magsara na tayo at anyway marami na din naman tayong naaccomplish,” Songco said.
PinoyMe Foundation felt grateful in being able to help rural communities and keeping the legacy of the late former Aquino alive.