- Corporate Citizenship
Promoting Economic Progress
Citi Philippines' citizenship efforts focus on issues where it can naturally contribute its resources and expertise as a financial services company. Through Financial Inclusion, it seeks to enable financial success and unlock opportunities for low-income communities and individuals; with Youth Economic Opportunities, it aspires to help young people effectively compete for economic prospects and succeed in the 21st century economy. Finally, in Urban Transformation, it supports partnerships among local governments, community-based organizations, the private sector, and research institutions for their initiatives that can build vibrant communities and create sustainable livelihoods.
With a workforce steeped in volunteerism, Citi Philippines takes an active role in helping improve the quality of life in many local communities.
In the Philippines, Citi invests largely on Financial Inclusion programs to create a more inclusive system through microfinance, enterprise development and financial capability and asset building for low-income communities. These social investment programs are envisioned to transform individuals and families into financially-abled decision makers and at the same time help accelerate their economic progress towards sustainability and prosperity.
Citi empowers low-income individuals to build viable businesses and is committed to providing assistance - from funding, on-the-ground partnerships, and employee engagement - to microenterprises that have no access to commercial banking due to limited resources or lack of credit history. Through its support of microfinance, Citi aims to increase the supply of financial products that improve and accelerate the financial inclusion of low income individuals.
- Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards is one of the flagship citizenship programs of Citi. Now a global program, it traces its roots to the Philippines where it was launched in 2002 in partnership with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Microfinance Council of the Philippines. Supported by Citi Foundation, the program honors the best Filipino microentrepreneurs around the country, to help raise awareness of microfinance and its benefits in impoverished communities, create role models, and impact the economy as a whole. It was a recipient of the 2014 Social Empowerment Award from the Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Awards - Southeast Asia.
- Citi Microenterprise Development Center is a partnership with the Bayan Academy for Social Entrepreneurship and Human Resource Development. The center serves as a facility that trains hundreds of high potential microfinance clients each year by offering them a Grassroots Entrepreneurship Management Course as well as coaching and mentoring services in marketing, finance, operations, human resources and other subject matter of interest. Winners of the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards program are enrolled as scholars at the center.
- One Stop System for Growing Microentrepreneurs is a partnership with PinoyME Foundation that developed the Citi-One Stop System (OSS) which links clients of microfinance institutions and cooperatives to essential business development services from government agencies and microfinance institutions. With the support of the Bicol Microfinance Council, Inc., the Citi-OSS platform helped facilitate faster transaction, better communication and networking among the critical stakeholders that resulted to improved business delivery service to at least 26 microenterprises and impacted more than 340 indirect beneficiaries. The program has been recognized as a significant contributor to the implementation of the Go Negosyo Act, or Republic Act 10644.
- MFI Management Training Accreditation Program was funded by the Citi Foundation and developed by the Asian Institute of Management in collaboration with Citi Philippines' senior officers. These train-the-trainer modules on management development and quality and credit risk management were offered to more than 100 trainers of various microfinance institutions across eight countries in Asia Pacific. These trainers, in turn, reached out to train more than 5,000 internal staff and field officers, and filter down best practices to their own organizations.
Citi is committed to helping small enterprises grow by providing access to technical assistance and investment capital, and helping them adopt better business models to achieve financial stability. Citi believes that these small businesses stimulate the country's economy and help create more jobs for Filipinos. It also supports enterprises that generate "triple bottom-line" economic, environmental, and social benefits.
- Sustainable Growth for Marginal and Small Farmers Program is a research study in partnership with Opportunity International that identified high-potential value chains and drew models to help at least 100 farmers gain access to formal and long-term financing and develop more successful agricultural businesses. The research study was presented in the annual Microfinance Forum of the Philippines in 2014 and has been instrumental in the implementation of pilot programs funded by Australian Aid (AusAid) with two leading microfinance institutions in the country.
- Gawad Kalinga's BayanAnihan aims to provide farmers based in Gawad Kalinga communities a sustainable source of livelihood. With Citi Foundation's contribution and the support of Citi Philippines, BayanAnihan shared the basics of commercial farming with 70 families in the GK Pueblo Antonio Village in Catigan, Davao City. A portion of the community's harvest was then sold to a processing plant that used the inputs for ice cream. The program is now a sustainable source of livelihood for the community, which is using their acquired knowledge in commercial farming and entrepreneurship for planting other crops for commercial sale. Due to the success of the program, a similar program was rolled out in the Ave Maria GK Village in Tanay, Rizal.
- Citi-Hapinoy Incubator is a value-chain enterprise program launched in partnership with the Center for Agricultural and Rural Business Development Services Foundation and Microventures Foundation Inc. The latter is the group behind "Hapinoy", a social enterprise model that is based around developing a chain of sari-sari stores or small rural village shops. The Citi-Hapinoy Incubator developed early-stage microentrepreneurs who are looking to improve their product in terms of development, process, quality and packaging. The microentrepreneurs received a 35-week training that focused on creating competitive products intended to be linked to supplier networks and the chain of Hapinoy sari-sari stores.
Financial Capability and Asset Building
As part of a nationwide campaign to help individuals secure their financial future and adopt positive financial behavior, Citi Philippines supported the following programs:
- Grow Your Money is a partnership with ABS-CBNNews.com which features money management topics designed to appeal to Filipinos of various ages, incomes and lifestyles, from the basics of budgeting to making credit cards work to your advantage to funding an early retirement. Launched in 2014, the weekly editorial series continues to enjoy a strong following.
- Take Charge of Your Money is a partnership with INQUIRER.net which featured a weekly section on personal finance management in the online version of the Inquirer. The series covered a wide range of topics from planning and budgeting to spending and investing, and emphasized the importance of mapping out your financial goals and finding a way to achieve them. The most popular articles from the editorial series are now accessible from General Information > Financial Education section of Citibank Online.
- Money Matters for Kids is an interactive exhibit produced by Museo Pambata in coordination with Citi Philippines. Launched in 2011, this exhibit for kids highlighted concepts on saving, earning, spending, and sharing money wisely. Also included were guided tours through sections that teach valuable concepts in adopting positive financial behavior. In 2013, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas adopted the exhibit to open it up to a wider audience, and has since taken it to different parts of the country.
"You Can Bank On It!" is a financial literacy campaign partnership between Citi Philippines, the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Benefitting underprivileged public school children in 40 public schools across the Philippines, the campaign was a six-part money management learning series for young readers. Forty teachers from public schools, non-profit schools, and private schools signed up to participate in the teachers' training program, which ran from July to August back in 2011. In this program, each teacher received a copy of the PDI every Monday and delivered a financial literacy module to their students during the week. Each weekly session culminated with a lecture and discussion session on the topics. The materials for the campaign were introduced to the participants through the Learning section of PDI. The module was used by Math and Economics teachers to impart the basics of personal finance management to high school students.
In 2012, the series received the top prize in the Newspapers in Education category from the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers at the annual Young Reader Prize competition
- The Citi Let's Talk Money Series was launched in 2005 in partnership with ABS-CBN Bayan Foundation and ABS-CBN Publishing to give low-income women entrepreneurs access to values formation seminars and training on the basics of entrepreneurship. In the same year, Citi also helped develop workshop materials, and published the Making More Money booklet.
- Use Credit Wisely was launched in 2004 to promote financial literacy especially among first-time credit card holders. Initially, information was made available on demand via a website, before the book and flyer versions were released. The program is the longest running credit education campaign in the country. Click here to know more about the program.
- Aflatoun Child Social and Financial Education Program is a partnership with the National Confederation of Cooperatives to redevelop Aflatoun's social and financial education program from English to four Filipino regional languages of Tagalog, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, and Ilocano. Altogether, these four languages are used by 66.3 million Filipinos or 72% of the total population. The redeveloped modules were adapted to the curriculum of 24 public schools to help at least 7,200 low income youth ages 6-9 learn the concepts of savings, planning, and budgeting in child-friendly language for a more sustainable future.
Youth Economic Opportunities
Expanding educational opportunities and helping improve academic achievements of the youth can help drive economic growth as well. Citi supports these programs that help the youth develop the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors that can increase their chances of obtaining a college degree and eventually, better job opportunities.
- Citi Junior Bankers is a partnership with the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX) Foundation which targets low-income college students from state schools and public universities. The program focuses on exposing young people to careers in banking and finance with the goal of equipping them with the proper skills for their transition from university to employment. The congress also offers its participants the opportunity to receive mentoring and on-the-job training with FINEX members and employment in top corporations in the Philippines.
- Buildings for Literacy, Understanding, and Education (BLUE) is a school building program, which started with two-classroom school buildings for 11 elementary schools in Laguna. The program soon added more buildings to schools in Paranaque, Malabon, Southern Leyte, and Cavite. The biggest BLUE school building is in Tipas Elementary School in Taguig. In total, Citi Philippines provided 40 brand-new classrooms to 16 public schools in Metro Manila, Southern Leyte, and Laguna.
Knowledge Channel Foundation's partnership with Citi Philippines provided 16 public schools in Metro Manila and Cebu with access to curriculum-based educational TV programming. Citi in collaboration with the Knowledge Channel developed educational modules for TV: the Citi Learning Series from Estudyantipid 1, Estudyantipid 2, and Agham Aralin. The Estudyantipid program garnered an Excellence Award for Support and Improvement of Education from the Asian CSR in 2009.
Citi Philippines also invested in the production of Estudyantipid 3, a learning series on entrepreneurship that targets high school students, out of school youth, and enrollees in the Department of Education's Alternative Learning System program.
- Pres. Cory Aquino School Desk Project is an initiative of former President Corazon Aquino which started in 2003. The late President saw the perennial problem of insufficient school facilities and wished to make a contribution by ensuring that schools around the country will have new and more school desks to accommodate the growing number of students. Citi was one of the first that pledged support for the project, and inked a multi-year commitment to reach out to as many schools all over the country. Through the Philippine Business for Social Progress, Citi has donated a total of 8,691 chairs to 35 schools, including those in disadvantaged communities in Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Sulu, Basilan, Tawi-Tawi, and Sarangani.
- Sa Aklat Sisikat (SAS) brought a unique and innovative reading program starting from three schools in Bulacan to nine public schools in San Juan, Metro Manila, and 23 public schools in Pasig City in its partnership with Citi Philippines. More than 20,000 elementary students and teachers benefited from SAS reading activities as well as supplementary materials like books, reading passports, and progress charts. An extra hour devoted to the program not only encouraged a love for reading among the students, but also expanded their vocabulary, improved writing and communication skills, and enhanced creativity and artistic talents.
Adding Value Through Corporate Volunteerism
Volunteerism is ingrained in Citi's work culture and values. Citi Philippines, together with Citi employees all over the world, celebrate the annual Global Community Day with various activities such as farm builds, marathon runs, and home and school rebuilding programs. Every year in the Philippines, Citi hosts at least 20 volunteer events gathering nearly 4,000 volunteers.
Apart from this tradition, Citi volunteers regularly collaborate with non-profit organizations and leverage their professional skills, expertise and time to support volunteer opportunities such as mentoring high-potential microentrepreneurs, teaching financial literacy or helping disadvantaged youth land sustainable jobs.