Working as a community has always been the way things get done at Kasiglahan Village, a neighborhood located just six kilometers outside Metro Manila. “When the government first relocated us here in 1999, there was no stable electricity, no water, no health center — and we had to organize and rally for it,” said Analyn Borbe or Ate Ana as she is fondly called, Vice President of the Montalban Action Group. The group’s reliance on each other is the secret sauce that transformed their village, and it helped members surpass major setbacks over the years, most recently the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the support of the Alliance for Prosperity and Valora app, the benefits of cryptocurrencies were made accessible to everyone

Nemia in her store in Manila

Before COVID-19, Nemia Madrigal ran a small convenience store in Manila, Philippines. Earnings from her store, along with her husband’s income as a tricycle driver, were modest but enough to provide for her family. Then came COVID-19.

As the Philippines went into strict lockdown, Nemia’s husband lost his job. Sales at her store plummeted. Like many families I know in the Philippines and all over the world, Nemia found herself struggling to feed herself and provide for her family.

In June 2020, the Grameen Foundation, a global nonprofit whose mission is to enable the poor to create a world without…

Insights from the Celo Philippine Pilot

Participants from Celo’s Philippine Pilot

Just a week after Celo unveiled Alfajores testnet, C Labs team members visited the Philippines to conduct a pilot of the Celo mobile wallet. I was elated to work as a Fellow to coordinate the pilot. When I first heard of Celo, its mission to provide accessible financial tools to everyone immediately resonated with me. The Philippines needs new and bold ideas like this to bridge the gap between the haves and have-nots.

I grew up in the Philippines, and my parents were entrepreneurs who had the opportunity to access credit for their own stuffed toy business. Our lives were…

Angelo Paolo Kalaw

Former central banker and economist. Interested in public innovation, financial inclusion, economic empowerment and social justice.

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