UPLiFT Institutional Assessment 2021. This year's institutional assessment was held last October 21 to 23 at Casa Veranda, a mountainside getaway located in Tala, Orani, Bataan. The venue provided a relaxing ambience, conducive for discussion of issues and exchange of ideas by the participants. The support and the non-financial services units/departments made their presentations on the first day. On the second day of the event, the Operation Managers were the first to present, followed by the Finance Manager. Mr. Edmon Sison, the Executive Director, made his closing presentation to wrap-up the activity. The BOT was represented by Mr. Edgardo Garcia, BOT Treasurer.
Day 1: Welcome Remarks by Sir Ed Sison, UPLiFT Executive Director
Day 1: Opening Message given by Sir Ed Garcia, UPLiFT BOT Treasurer
Day 1: HR Department Report presented by Ms. Elvie Arroyo
Day 1: UPLiFT COVID-19 Response & Monitoring Report presented by Mr. Rhoda Reyes
Day 1: Audit Department Report presented by Ms. Gemma Castro
Day 1: Admin Department Report presented by Ms. Chelsea Capuli
Day 1: UPLiFT Non-Financial Services Report presented by Ms. Nimfa Rosquites & Ms. Cheryl Rellama
Day 2: Recap of previous day's discussions by Sir Ed Sison
Day 2: UPLiFT Micro Insurance Report presented by Sir Jonnel Sesalim
Day 2: UPLiFT Emergency Care Program Report presented by Ms. Patricia Favis
Day 2: UPLiFT South Operation Report presented by Sir Mico Sano, Operations Manager - SOUTH
Day 2: UPLiFT North Operation Report presented by Sir Zaldy Mena, Operations Manager - NORTH
Day 2: UPLiFT Financial Report presented by Ms. Lisa Dingalan, Finance Manager
Day 2: Closing Presentation by Sir Ed, setting a clear path as UPLiFT gears up for the New Normal and faces the challenges of 2022!
Day 2: Closing Prayer led by Sir Zaldy
Day 3: Free Day... the view at Casa Veranda!
USAP Scholars Batch 4. UPLiFT continues its commitment to provide not just financial assistance to its Partners with the distribution of scholarship grants to its 4th Batch of Scholars last September 22-27, 2021. This batch of is composed of 39 deserving college students, with 19 coming from the North Operation and 20 from the South Operation. The receipients are children of loyal UPLiFT Partners.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic made it difficult to gather them all in a single venue, the awarding of scholarship grants were done in the Branch Offices. Also, the orientation seminar for the new scholars was held online last October 02, facilitated by the CBDS unit.
UPLiFT North Operation
UPLiFT South Operation
CMA 2021: UPLiFT Partner named COVID-19 Response CHAMPION. Dominador Vergara, Jr., owner of Maternal and Child Care Clinic in Malabon and an UPLiFT Partner from CAMANAVA Program's Bayan-Bayanan Branch for 13 years now, was one of the four COVID-19 Response Champions in the 18th Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards (CMA) held this year.
He not only managed to keep his facility open amid the COVID-19 pandemic but also provided shuttle service to their patients to reduce their exposure to the virus. “Hinahatid-sundo ko lahat ng pasyente dahil unang una po walang masakyan, pangalawa po, na-e-expose sila sa labas dahil nga diyan sa COVID”, related Vergara.
Along with his wife, Alma, a registered midwife, they extended their services by offering their patients seminars on the virus and providing them protective equipment including face shields and face masks. All these add-ons, according to Vergara, come at no additional costs, as he did not want to place extra burden on the patients.
The CMA awarding ceremony, held online on June 15, was led by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) governor Benjamin Diokno and Citi Philippines chief executive officer Aftab Ahmed.
(taken from the article by Thea Andrea C. Magueriano, posted in manilastandard.net last June 21, 2021)
General Assembly Meeting 2021. Due to the physical limitations brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, UPLiFT opted to have a virtual meeting for this year's annual General Assembly, held last May 26, 2021 via ZOOM.
There were fifteen attendees for the GA this year:
TOP Row (left to right): Ms. Karen Lei, Mr. Edouard Mialhe (BOT President), Ms. Julieta Estrada (BOT Member)
2nd Row (left to right): Mr. Franck Renaudin (Entrepreneurs Du Monde), Mr. Marc Giordan (Inter Aide), Mr. Damien Roiland, Atty. Edgar Sanchez (Secretary)
3rd Row (left to right): Ms. Rekha Nahar, Mr. Santiago Araneta (BOT Vice President), Ms. Lisa Dingalan (UPLiFT Finance Manager), Mr. Jonathan Crespi (BOT Member)
BOTTOM Row (left to right): Ms. Noni Ayo (BOT Member), Mr. Edmon Sison (UPLiFT Executive Director), Ms. Gloria Chavez, Mr. Edgar Garcia (BOT Treasurer)
UPLiFT Launches "Introduction to Digital Marketing Online Training". The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic did not stop UPLiFT from fulfilling its mission of providing trainings to its Partners.
The CBDS team, spearheaded by the Executive Director Mr. Ed Sison, has developed an online training module "Introduction to Digital Marketing", designed to help the UPLiFT Partners in utilizing and maximizing the internet to promote their businesses. These webinars were conducted separately in the nine Programs last March 2021. The participants were taught about the advantages of having their own email and social media accounts as platforms to advertise their products and services more effectively.
Sitio Griego Water Project Now Operational. In line with its Adopt a Community Program, UPLiFT has chosen Sitio Griego in Brgy. Calaylayan, Abucay, Bataan as the beneficiary of its first Water Project. For this undertaking, UPLiFT partnered with the local Peoples Organization, the San Isidro Labrador Farmers Association of Griego (SILFAG). Survey of the area and identification of water source started in 2019 with the help of a local contractor. A reliable water source was found last year, and a submersible pump was installed in the deep well. By the way, the land where the water source was located is a donation from SILFAG. At the moment, the PO is constructing a pump house to secure the equipment, with them providing labor as their counterpart. An operator has been identified by the community and people fetch water at the pump house daily from 4AM to 10PM. Charges range from 3-5 pesos depending on the size of their containers. It is from this daily collection that the PO get their expenses, especially the payment for their monthly electric bill.
USAP Scholars Batch 3. UPLiFT conducted two separate orientation seminars for its 3rd batch of USAP Scholars this year. The North Operation held their activities in Bulacan last January 07, while and South Operation had it in the CHO last January 08. The Scholarship Grants were released to the beneficiaries, who came together with their parent, after the orientation. For this batch, three came from the North programs and five came from the South programs.
UPLiFT North Operation
UPLiFT South Operation
1st Batch of UPLiFT Scholars Graduate. UPLiFT is proud to present its 1st batch of graduates under the UPLiFT Scholarship Assistance Program (USAP), consisting of nine deserving students who's parents are loyal Partners of the organization. This pioneering batch come from the different areas under the CAMANAVA Program and were granted scholarship last May 2018.
New Batch of UPLiFT Scholars Meet Online. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it very difficult nowadays for people to assemble together in person. An online meeting was therefore organized by the CBDS Department, last December 4, 2020 at 10:00 AM. This was participated in by UPLiFT Scholars from the North and South Operations, the CBDS staff and, no less than the Executive Director himself, Mr. Ed Sison. The event served as a "kumustahan" with the scholars sharing the technical and emotional challenges they have experienced, since classes are now being conducted on-line.
In response, UPLiFT plans to organize study groups to help the scholars if ever they have difficulties in certain subjects, as well as, provide counselling and guidance for them. They were also joined by some of the graduates from the 1st batch of scholars, who gave their advise and insights from their experience as scholar-students. At present, UPLiFT now has 27 scholars from the 2nd & 3rd Batch, and still has an on-going screening of candidates for its next batch.
Account Management Training for UPLiFT LDOs. UPLiFT conducted an Account Management Training for its selected Livelihood Development Officers this month of February 2020. The 2-day event was designed to increase their commitment and productivity by making them understand better the specific functions and responsibilities of their work as LDOs. There were two separate schedules for the North Operation group and the South Operation group, but both sessions were facilitated by the Executive Director, Sir Edmon Sison.
The first batch, which consisted of 23 participants, came from the South Operation, and their training was held at the Overlook Resort and Conference Center in Antipolo City, Rizal last February 6 and 7.
The training for the North Operation was conducted last February 20 at Cafe Teodora in San Rafael, Tarlac City, and at Tarlac Head Office in San Sebastian, Tarlac City the following day, February 21. A total of 19 LDOs participated in the activities.
Christmas Party 2019. This year's "Wild, Wild West" Christmas Party was held at the Manila Grand Opera Hotel in Sta. Cruz, Manila last December 12. The venue was filled with Cowboys and Cowgirls, a few Indians and, not to forget, the Sheriffs to maintain order. It was also during the event that the outstanding performances of individuals and groups in the organization were given recognition. A Variety Show Contest was held among UPLiFT's ten Head Offices, showcasing their talents in singing, dancing and acting! To spice up the evening, prizes were given away during the raffle and the UPLifT Band provided entertainment to the delight of the crowd.
Welcome remarks from the Executive Director, Mr. Edmon Sison
Cowgirls just wanna have fun... joined by a few Indians
QUEZON CITY Program presentation
BATAAN Program presentation (1st Place)
TARLAC Program presentation
BULACAN Program presentation
CAMANAVA Program presentation (3rd Place)
Intermission number from UPLiFT Band.
CAVITE Program presentation
CENTRAL HEAD OFFICE presentation (2nd Place)
RIZAL Program presentation
MANILA Program presentation
PANGASINAN Program presentation
AWARDEES: 5 Years in Service
AWARDEE: Ms. Janice Jionco, Entrepreneur of the Year (CAMANAVA)
Intermission number from UPLiFT Band
AWARDEES: Quality Performance LDOs and Outstanding LDOs
AWARDEE: Trailblazer Award (RIZAL)
AWARDEES: Highest Earning LDO (A. Bonula) and Highest Earning Branch (Catmon)
AWARDEE: Highest Earning Program (CAMANAVA)
AWARDEE: Highest Number of Quality Partners (BATAAN)
AWARDEE: Highest Portfolio Quality (RIZAL)
Closing number from UPLiFT Band
Inter-Program ZUMBA Dance Competition 2019. For the very 1st time, UPLiFT held a Zumba dance competition as a culminating activity for its Health Awareness Caravan last December 11 at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Diliman, Quezon City. The participating groups were composed of UPLiFT Partners coming from the nine Programs. Partners from Quezon City Program won this year's event, with partners from Camanava Program and Tarlac Program placing 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
The Health Awareness Caravan was imlemented in different UPLiFT communities starting September 2019. Seminars were conducted to promote healthy living, together with, zumba dance sessions for physical fitness. These activities were made possible with the help and support of Pinoy Ako, First Life Financial, Generali Phils, Sikap Buhay ECO, Proctor and Gamble Phils, Nature's Spring and HMI.
Participants from Bataan Program (Left) and Bulacan Program (Right)
Participants from Camanava Program (Left) and Cavite Program (Right)
Participants from Manila Program (Left) and Pangasinan Program (Right)
Participants from Quezon City Program (Left) and Rizal Program (Right)
Participants from Tarlac Program (Left) and the Panel of Judges (Right)
1st Place: Quezon City Program
2nd Place: Camanava Program
3rd Place: Tarlac Program
Zumba King and Queen: Senior Division (Left) and Junior Division (Right)
Best in Costume: Manila Program
Early Bird Award: Pangasinan Program
UPLiFT Signs MOA with Water and Life Philippines. UPLiFT partnered with Water and Life Philippines (W&L) through a MOA signed last October 30, 2019 at the W&L office in Bacoor, Cavite.
Signatories to the agreement were, from Left to Right, Lea Musso (W&L Project Officer), Alexia Michels (W&L Country Director), Edmon Sison (UPLiFT Exec. Director) and Flor Cachola (UPLiFT CBDS Manager). This partnership aims improve the living conditions of urban poor communities in the Cavite area through an effective implementation of a Solid Waste Management Services program which includes community awareness seminars, street clean-ups, proper waste management, and construction of waste transfer stations. The estimated target beneficiaries for this project is about 10,000 individuals and a community in Pugad Ibon, Kawit, Cavite was identified as the pilot area of implementation.
To help finance the project, UPLiFT turned over a check donation amounting to Php 1 million to W&L last November 8, 2019 at its Head Office in Binondo, Manila. Leading the turnover were Mico Sano (UPLiFT Operations Manager - SOUTH) and Lea Sacay (W&L Representative), together with Tita Babes Estrada (UPLiFT BOT Member).
Water and Life Philippines is a local NGO, created by Eau et Vie (France) in 2008, that currently operates in the underprivileged neighborhoods of Cavite, Cebu and Leyte. In their communities, W&L designs and develops water systems, waste management and sanitation services, as well as, fire fighting capabilities.
UPLiFT Adopts Mangrove Site in Bataan. As part of its corporate social responsibility program, UPLiFT adopted a 1000-square-meter mangrove area in Barangay Camachile, Municipality of Orion in the Province of Bataan. UPLiFT staff from the North Programs, together with several Partners from Bataan (host Program) and guests from PAIS, planted about one thousand one hundred seedlings of various mangrove plants on the site last October 25, 2019.
Barangay Camachile is a coastal community where a lot of families depend greatly in fishing. To sustain their livelihood, mangrove areas are of vital importance to them since these serve as nurseries for many fish and aquatic species that are found in their fishing grounds. Also, mangrove areas serve as buffer zones that protect the communities from storm surge during strong typhoons.
This environmental initiative was undertaken with the support of the Provincial Government of Bataan - Environment and Natural Resources Office (PG-ENRO), the Bureau of Fish and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), the Samahan ng mga Mandaragat ng Camachile (SAMACA) and the local officials of Barangay Camachile.
UPLiFT Helps Reforest Watershed in Rizal. In support of Executive Order No. 193 (Expanding the Coverage of the National Greening Program until 2028), UPLiFT conducted a tree planting activity at the watershed areas of Sitio Tablon, Barangay Cuyambay, Municipality of Tanay in the province of Rizal last October 18, 2019. More than a thousand Narra and Mahogany seedlings were planted on the site.
After suffering the devastating effects of flashfloods brought by Typhoon Ondoy in 2009, the LGU of Tanay has been actively pushing for disaster mitigation and preparedness programs, including the intensive reforestation of its watershed areas.
UPLiFT staff from the South Programs volunteered for the event. They were joined by some UPLiFT Partners from Rizal (host Program) and representatives from PAIS. This reforestation project was done in coordination with the Municipal Government of Tanay, the Municipal Environment & Natural Resources Office (MENRO) and the local Barangay Forest Rangers.
Assessment & Planning 2019. UPLiFT conducted two separate sessions for its Assessment & Planning this year. The first was for the South Programs (CAMANAVA, CAVITE, MANILA, QUEZON CITY and RIZAL) which was held last September 5-6 at Lago de Oro Resort in Calatagan, Batangas.
The second was for the North Programs (BATAAN, BULACAN, PANGASINAN and TARLAC) which was held last September 12-13 at Raven Resort in Abucay, Bataan. Each Program presented their respective operational and financial status which served as the basis for assessing the different issues affecting their operation, as well as, addressing these issues either by developing specific approaches to the problem or adapting best practices shared by the other presenters.
The consolidated reports for the South and the North Program groups were presented by their respective Operation Manager, Sir Mico (South) and Sir Zaldy (North). Miss Lisa, the Finance Manager, presented the overall financial status and Sir Ed, the Executive Director, presented the overall UPLiFT status as a microfinance organization. Focus still remains in maintaining the sustainability being experienced by UPLiFT right now, and the challenge for the coming year is to further improve the Quality and the Quantity of Partners being recruited.
SOUTH Programs: September 5-6, 2019 at Calatagan, Batangas CAVITE Program status presented by AM Vergel Contillo and FAS Rachel Mia QUEZON CITY Program status presented by AM Marianne De Alca and FAS Gelyn Ramos CAMANAVA Program status presented by AM Edna Regilme and FAS Cathy Espinosa RIZAL Program status presented by AM Michelle Tamani and FAS Vivian Casignia MANILA Program status presented by AM Vivian Encornal and FAS Metha Mananquil Non-Financial Services presented by Jonnel Sesalim (Micro Insurance) and Patricia Favis (Emergency Care Program) SOUTH Program status presented by OM Mico Sano and FAM Lisa Dingalan UPLiFT overall status presented by the Executive Director Edmon Sison
NORTH Programs: September 12-13, 2019 at Abucay, Bataan BATAAN Program status presented by AM Shajid Magpoc and FAS Daisy Urquiza TARLAC Program status presented by AM Jaypee Ramos and FAM Lisa Dingalan PANGASINAN Program status presented by AM Roneo Roberto and FAS Jhomar Samson BULACAN Program status presented by AM Magdalena Casillano and FAS Jhen Dela Cruz Non-Financial Services presented by CBDS Manager Flor Cachola, Jonnel Sesalim (Micro Insurance) and Patricia Favis (Emergency Care Program) NORTH Program status presented by OM Zaldy Mena and FAM Lisa Dingalan UPLiFT overall status presented by the Executive Director Edmon Sison
Management Trainings 2019. UPLIFT conducted an Account Management Training and Workshop for Branch Managers last August 08 & 09 at Overlook Resort and Conference Center in Antipolo City, Rizal with 18 participants composed of newly appointed Branch Managers from the different programs. This activity aims to develop not just their management skills, but also their higher level of commitment to the organization.
A similar activity was also conducted for selected Livelihood Development Officers last January 25 & 26, at the same venue, with 37 partcipants coming from different programs. The 2-day training was designed to help develop the LDOs productivity and commitment in their work. The lead facilitator for both events was UPLiFT Executive Director, Mr. Edmon L. Sison.
UPLiFT Attends 2019 MCPI Annual Conference. The annual MCPI Conference provides an opportunity for the different MFIs all over the country to come together and discuss important developments and issues affecting the microfinance sector. For this year, which also coincided with MCPIs 20th Anniversary, the theme was Transforming Microfinance Through Digitalization and was held last July 25-26, 2019 at the Manila Prince Hotel in Ermita, Manila. The UPLiFT delegation that participated in the event, headed by the Executive Director, Mr. Edmon L. Sison, was composed of all the heads of the operation and the finance departments.
The conference speakers presented different available digital technologies that can help improve financial systems and how MFIs can adapt to these transformations, especially in the delivery of their products and services to their clients. Also discussed during the event were the Poverty Status in the Philippines and how the MFIs had greatly contributed in efforts of the government in its fight against poverty.
UPLiFT Joins Alay Lakad in Tanay. The Municipality of Tanay through the office of the Municipal Environment & Natural Resources Office (MENRO) and in partnership with Department of Education, University of Rizal System, 2nd Infantry Division, Palaya Natural Farm, Tanay Environment Foundation, Inc. and Department of Environment & Natural Resources, held its ALAY LAKAD PARA SA KALIKASAN AT KINABUKASAN Year 9 last June 15, 2019 at Tanay Park. The main objective of this event is to raise funds for the purchase of seedlings from upland communities and reforest the watershed areas of Tanay. This would help mitigate disaster effects due to climate change and global warming. UPLiFT, represented by its Rizal Program Office, fully supports such endeavors and has scheduled to join in the tree planting activity this coming October 2019.
UPLiFT Distributes School Supplies in Rizal. In time for this years opening of classes in the elementary, UPLiFT has given away school bags with supplies to children of deserving Partners in its Rizal Program. The branches of Antipolo, Morong and Tanay had their distribution activity last May 1, while the branches of Binangonan and Taytay had theirs last May 2. Study well kids!
UPLiFT GA Meeting 2019. Members of UPLiFT's General Assembly gathered last May 22 at the Manila Polo Club in Makati City. Aside from the financial accomplishments, UPLiFT's non financial activities, mostly community projects, were also presented during the meeting.
(Front L-R) BOT Secretary Atty. Edgar Sanchez, Ms. Thea Magallanes, UPLiFT Fin. Mngr. Lisa Dingalan, BOT Member Julieta Estrada, Ms. Lea Jacinto-Sacay (PBSP) and GA Member Gloria Chavez
(Back L-R) BOT Treasurer Edgardo Garcia, BOT Member Jonathan Crespi, BOT Pres. Edouard Miailhe, Ms. Lea Musso (Water & Life), GA Member Damien Roiland, UPLiFT Exec. Dir. Edmon Sison and BOT Vice Pres. Juan Miguel Montinola
UPLiFT TeamBuilding 2019. For this year's Teambuilding, the entire UPLiFT family headed north to Bakasyunan Resort in Iba, Zambales last May 09. It was a 3-day event with activities designed to facilitate better communication and collaboration among the staff, which in turn, improve their connection to the company. Highlight of the event was the Concert Night on the second evening, with performances coming from the different UPLiFT Programs and also from the UPLiFT Band.
Welcome to Bakasyunan Resort!
Day 1: Arrival
Day 1: Lunch
Day 1: Lunch
Day 1: Basketball
Day 1: Basketball
Day 1: Volleyball
Day 1: Volleyball
Day 2: Morning Zumba
Day 2: Morning Zumba
Day 2: Beach Games
Day 2: Beach Games
Day 2: Beach Games
Day 2: Beach Games
Day 2: Beach Games
Day 2: Beach Games
Tribute to Ms. Visitacion Alip... UPLiFT Retiree (CAMANAVA)
Concert Night: Pangasinan Program
Concert Night: Cavite Program
Concert Night: Rizal Program
Concert Night: Bataan Program
Concert Night: Tarlac Program
Concert Night: UPLiFT Band
Concert Night: UPLiFT Band
Concert Night: Follow the Leader...
Stars of the Night... Best in Reggae Costume
UPLiFT BOT Meeting 2019. The Board of Trustees held their annual meeting last Feb. 14 at the Manila Polo Club in Makati City. The organization's financial and operational accomplishments were presented to the body together with the proposed budget for this year.
(Seated L-R) UPLiFT Fin. Mngr. Lisa Dinglasan and BOT Member Julieta Estrada
(Standing L-R) UPLiFT Exec. Dir. Edmon Sison, GA Member Damien Roiland, BOT Pres. Edouard Miailhe, BOT Member Jonathan Crespi, BOT Member Felicia Atienza, Atty. Michelle Salcedo, BOT Treasurer Edgardo Garcia and BOT Secretary Atty. Edgar Sanchez