OpinionsEye OpenerEmpowering the unsaved

Empowering the unsaved


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Dumaguete City, the capital of Negros Oriental, is known for its picturesque beaches, vibrant culture, and friendly locals. But beneath the surface of this paradise lies a challenge shared by many residents – financial insecurity.

A significant number of Dumaguetnons struggle with limited access to traditional banking services, making it difficult for them to save, invest, and secure their financial future.

In response to this need, credit cooperatives are stepping up to empower the unsaved Dumaguetnons, providing them with the tools and opportunities to build a brighter financial future.


Unsaved Dumaguetnons: A Common Struggle

The term “unsaved” refers to those who have not yet entered the world of formal financial institutions. They lack savings accounts, are unaware of investment opportunities, and live paycheck to paycheck, perpetually vulnerable to financial shocks.

In a world that increasingly relies on digital transactions and financial planning, this lack of access to traditional banking can leave individuals and families struggling to break free from the cycle of poverty.


The Role of Credit Cooperatives

Credit cooperatives, often described as the unsung heroes of financial inclusion, are quietly transforming the lives of Dumaguetnons. These cooperatives operate on a simple yet powerful principle — pooling resources from members to provide accessible credit and financial services. They serve as community-based institutions, reaching the unsaved where traditional banks often fail.

One of the primary ways credit cooperatives empower Dumaguetnons is by offering basic savings accounts. These accounts provide a safe place to deposit money, earn interest, and start building a financial cushion. Members can access their funds at any time, making it a flexible and accessible option for those hesitant to enter the formal banking system.


The Journey to Empowerment

So, how do credit cooperatives empower the unsaved Dumaguetnons?

Financial Education – These cooperatives offer financial literacy programs, ensuring that members understand the importance of saving, responsible borrowing, and investment opportunities.

Accessible Loans – Credit cooperatives provide members with the opportunity to borrow money at fair interest rates, often with fewer stringent requirements than commercial banks. This empowers Dumaguetnons to meet immediate needs, start a small business, or invest in education.

Community Support – Membership in a cooperative also means becoming part of a close-knit financial community. Members support one another, sharing advice, insights, and encouragement on their financial journeys.

Empowering Women – Many credit cooperatives have specific programs aimed at empowering women in the community, recognizing their critical role in financial stability and development.

Inclusivity – Credit cooperatives welcome individuals who might face difficulty accessing banking services elsewhere, such as farmers, fishermen, and low-income workers. This inclusivity is essential in a region like Dumaguete City, where diverse economic activities shape the community.


Looking to the Future

The story of empowering unsaved Dumaguetnons through cooperatives is not just a local narrative but a global one. Credit cooperatives have been recognized worldwide for their role in promoting financial inclusion, reducing poverty, and fostering economic growth. The experience in Dumaguete City serves as a testament to the power of these community-driven initiatives.

The future for Dumaguetnons is looking brighter as more individuals discover the benefits of credit cooperatives. As the unsaved become savers and responsible borrowers, their financial security improves, opening up new possibilities for them, their families, and the community as a whole.

In Dumaguete City, the journey towards financial empowerment begins with a single step – joining a credit cooperative. It’s a step that holds the promise of a more secure and prosperous future for all, making Dumaguete City not just a haven of natural beauty, but also a stronghold of financial well-being.


Author’s email: wea_129@yahoo.com



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