Community managed savings and credit groups association (CoMSCA) members from Quezon, Bukidnon donated P16,716 to World Vision as their way of giving back to their fellow Filipinos. CoMSCA is a World Vision economic development project model that aims to provide simple savings and loan facilities to communities where access to financial services is difficult.
The initiative started in 2017 when the groups decided that each member will contribute a peso each month.
“Each member contributes a peso each month. We came to an agreement that we also want to take part in helping other children like how many people we do not even know are helping us,” said Danny Brigoli, CoMSCA Federation president in Quezon. Recognizing the vulnerability of many children to different emergencies, including natural disasters, he said that the money would go to emergency response fund.
Most of those who took part in the cause are farmers, laborers or plantation workers. Prior to having their own groups, they used to think that only those with high income are able to save.
“Prior CoMSCA, most people here rely on lending institutions. The loan interest usually starts at 6% and can go as high as 15%, too high, especially for low income families,”Danny added
When World Vision started working in the municipality last 2016, one of its interventions focused on economic development. CoMSCA was then introduced to complement the organization’s livelihood programs.
Danny is one of the first members.
“When I learned how it works, I started advocating for it,” he said. He was trained, along with several community volunteers, on how to organize CoMSCA groups. His being a barangay official also helped him further his advocacy. To date, there are more than 50 groups in Quezon, Bukidnon.
The habit of saving and investing
“It is necessary that we help change the mindset of community members that they are unable to save because they are not earning enough. What we are seeing since we introduced CoMSCA in the communities, are individuals who believe that they can. Slowly, we are also integrating the concept of investing.”Noel Peligrino, World Vision staff in Bukidnon
At least two CoMSCA groups now have their own businesses, one is rice retail store and the other is feeds retail. Danny is excited to see the groups evolve in barely two years. Seeing the potential of each group not just to grow financially but also to influence other community members, he is committed to continue advocating for it.