Savings for Internal Lending in Urban Communities for Emergencies


East Bank Road, is one of the Puroks of Barangay San Andres, Cainta. Households living on East Bank Road near the Pasig River are informal settlers. In 2012, in the aftermath of Typhoon Ondoy, East Bank Road under the jurisdiction of Barangay San Andres was under water for 2-3 months because of their exposure to floods and proximity to the Pasig River. Residents claimed that 60% of all residential houses near the Pasig River were flooded because waters cannot subside immediately. 60% of families were evacuated to the Anak Pawis Covered Court, school and nearby churches in East Bank Road. The Office of the Municipal Social Welfare conducted surveys with families evacuated at the different government and private entities in relation to their security that includes livelihood and savings. CRS also conducted random baseline surveys and profiling in the Barangay, particularly in East Bank Road, Floodway and part of the questionnaire asked if the household have savings for emergencies. Most respondents answered no savings, and even when they did have some, it has always been taken out due to basic needs of the family. It showed that only 1-2% of the 60% evacuees have savings. The remaining 58% resorted to borrowing money from Bombay with a 5-6% interest rate. They borrowed money for food, medicine, education of their children and capital for an investment. Some said, they borrow money from their relatives with 5-10% interest.

Given this disaster situation, CRS designed an affordable savings program scheme called the Savings for Internal Lending Communities (SILC) for the poor and vulnerable households. It was programmed to run for 8-10 months; two months were designed for SILC group formation and training and the remaining months were designed for SILC group savings and share-out for the 1st cycle. A cycle was the number of months for savings agreed by the SILC Members. The SILC component was introduced to all 22 barangays covered by the Project SUCCESS, including Barangay San Andres. In partnership with the Diocese of Antipolo, they coordinated and presented the SILC component to the Barangay Council. The Council welcomed the initiative because they too agreed that most women in East Bank Road, Floodway do not have savings, that during emergencies, households don’t know where to run for assistance and it turned out that the Barangay is obliged to provide their daily sustenance during their stay at the Evacuation Center or Covered Courts as temporary shelters.

CRS provided resources for the SILC component. Project SUCCESS staff mobilized three (3) Field Agents (FA) from East Bank Road. They were trained on community approaches, SILC principles, partnership building and how to run the SILC Program. Mentoring and shadowing or coaching were also done by CRS to ensure that Field Agents were able to capture and roll out the SILC and, importantly, target women who will able to internalize the concept. The FAs were able to roll out the SILC Program to their target locations, organizing 6 SILC groups with 25 women as maximum number per SILC group under each Field Agent in different locations in East Bank Road, Floodway using a localized version of the SILC. This is to ensure that target women groups will grasp and understand the concepts. The orientation of SILC group per FA is done according to the schedules set by the interested women to be formed as SILC group. Once formed, they need to have a name of their SILC Group and choose among themselves who will compose the Management Committee of each SILC Group. A Chairperson, Treasurer who will be in-charge of the SILC Box, Money Counter and three Key Holders. CRS provided SILC Box to all organized SILC groups with paraphernalia like 3 ledger books, calculator and writing notes inside the SILC Box. It was worth noting that each SILC group formulated their own Constitution and By Laws (CBL) or policy as their document. SILC group Management Committee members undergone series of training on financial literacy, record keeping and facilitation skills. Monthly coaching and visitation to SILC Management Committee and FA were done by CRS to ensure that procedures and processes were installed and understood by the SILC Group members.

In fact, Aklan SILC Group in East Bank Road, Floodway was formed in the 3rd quarter of 2015 with 22 women members. Starting to save in the 4th quarter with approved minimum savings of Php 50.00 per week per member, after two months, they can have loans worth twice their savings with an interest rate of 5% payable in two months. The system of borrowing loans is scheduled to all Aklan SILC members until all members have availed loans, paid interest and been able to return the loaned amount in due time. The Aklan SILC Group also initiated that each member will bring one item of any recyclable material to every SILC saving meeting and at the end of every month, they sell it to their D2D Waste Collectors in their area. The proceeds will be added to their savings funds and it will be divided among them along with fines and interest during their shareout. The Aklan SILC group had their share out after 8 months and it was noted that the maximum amount received by each SILC member as dividend of their savings was Php 3,800. These are the penalties and proceeds from sales of recyclable materials they collected at every SILC saving meeting. The share-out of the Aklan SILC group happened in May 2016 and it was a good plan because they had something to spend for the enrollment of their children in June of 2016. At present, the Aklan SILC group is now in its 3rd cycle and will be having their share-out this December 2017. Their 4th cycle will start on January 2018.

CRS conducts regular monitoring during their SILC savings meeting to ensure that inquiries or concerns on SILC related will be addressed. Committee Chair on Livelihoods and Training of the Barangay is also part of the monitoring of the other SILC Groups formed in San Andres, Cainta.


A good thing about the SILC component is that this is being managed and decided by the members of the SILC Group. Planning, decision making, policy formulation and other SILC Group activities were decided by the SILC group. Skills in decision-making, record keeping and networking are being practiced. They were also the ones coordinating with the Barangay on other livelihood opportunities and trainings for their SILC groups. In fact, most SILC group members in San Andres were provided with trainings on food processing and market strategies under the office of the Vice Mayor and Municipal Agricultural Office. This training was coordinated by the Punong Barangay.
The SILC Program was designed for the informal settlers and poor families living in vulnerable locations affected by frequent flooding and other forms of disasters. It was designed for women in the community because it’s a norm and practice of Filipino families that women are the purse keepers. Women from the age of 18 and above could become a SILC member with the capacity to save depending on the amount agreed by all SILC members, if they are willing to attend the savings meeting and abide to the CBL formulated by the group members. In addition, there were invitations to some Field Agents to organize the TODA in the area composed of men. The Vendors Association is also interested in becoming organized.
The practices and experiences shared by different walks of life in the community served as the basis for arriving at plans and decisions in relation to savings programs. There were some existing savings and loan programs by some private individuals and institutions in the community. Some borrowers struggle to pay back the principal amount and the interest because of the high interest rate. As a result, these borrowers are going to pawnshops for some of their appliances to have money to pay the interest. There were also some borrowers that after borrowing, don’t show up, run away and don’t bother paying back. All these issues were shared and discussed within the Aklan SILC group. It is very important to all of them that they are careful in inviting members to join them and they ensure that they know each other. They do their own background research on each other. In relation to this reality in the community, Aklan SILC Group Committee Management and members ensured that their members will not experience the same as other women experienced. They ensured that if one SILC member will provide a loan, it will be used to the purpose specified in her Letter of Intent to Loan. The process approved by Aklan SILC group stipulates that when one SILC member applies for a loan, during their SILC Saving meeting, they will inform the Committee Members about the loan, stating the amount and the purpose. At the next SILC Saving meeting, she can get her loan, and sign the ledger book that she received her loan and agreeing to repay it within the stated period. Loan releases are scheduled according to priorities.


Project SUCCESS in San Andres ended in the 3rd quarter of 2016. However, CRS still do coaching and monitoring of Field Agents and SILC Groups to enhance knowledge and learning from their experiences, and identify ways in which they improve if they intend to organize and mobilize more SILC Groups in their community. CRS continues to coordinate with the Barangay, private sectors and other NGOs or religious sectors and explore opportunities for the SILC group members. Apart from being members of the Aklan SILC Group, they are also part of D2D Waste Collection. They involved themselves in monthly IEC and monthly clean-ups in their streets organized by the Committee on Solid Waste Management and Committee on BDRRM. They were the ones leading the mobilization in coordination with their Purok Chairman and HOA Officers and Barangay. This is to ensure that their waterways are free of clogs that water can easily draw down to the Pasig river. This is also to prevent mosquitoes to live in stagnant in waters in the canals.
During the 2nd cycle share-out, most Aklan SILC group members revealed that they did not experience joining saving groups or any membership and haven’t tried to speak during meetings and trainings. They haven’t tried to speak in front of other people. According to them, they are wives, they are at their homes, cooking, cleaning, sending children to their schools as their daily routine. As they continually involved themselves in SILC Saving meetings, they were taught to speak in front of their co-members since the SILC meeting is not purely saving business but it is also an avenue for sharing family concerns and at the same, an avenue to all of them to establish camaraderie through team-building. It is worth noting that Aklan SILC Members established their own savings for emergency purposes. They learned and knew to identify and prioritize basic needs from food, education and other miscellaneous expenditures for the family. Some SILC member have established budget priority lists. In one account, after their 2 cycles, one Aklan SILC member divulged that when they occupied the small house they are renting, there is no room. They only hung a curtain in a corner for their daughters. The earnings of her husband being a construction worker is limited for their food and rentals, while she works as a laundry helper to neighbours who need her service. To earn, when she had her 1st loan, she used it as capital for selling street food every afternoon. She said that selling street food is a big help because her family helped her prepare and sell especially when her husband does not have work. With her 2nd loan, she made sure that there was enough to buy plywood so that her sons and daughter would have separate and private rooms. They were also able to construct their own latrine, unlike the past years where they shared a latrine and bathroom with their neighbours.


“Savings for Internal Lending in Urban Communities” has links to disaster risk reduction (DRR). Some natural and human-induced disasters may happen anytime when least expected. It is the best thing for a family or households to establish their saving schemes for emergencies, so that when it is needed, there is something to bring out. The SILC Scheme hopes to help families living in areas with high exposure to vulnerability, educating them on the essence of “savings”. CRS considered the SILC component of the Project SUCCES as sustainable saving scheme in the sense that most SILC groups formed in 2015 had reached their 3rd cycle this December 2017. The sustainability of the SILC component was measured through some indicators and parameters, identifying that: - It is a sustaining saving scheme because all members realized the importance of savings for emergency purposes. - The SILC program is tailor-fitted to the need of the community situation where activities and decision-making are participatory and empowering. - There is the involvement of the Barangay in the process and monitoring. - SILC principles are based on norms, practices and experiences of SILC women groups that served as a learning process. - The practice of trust building with one another (no buildings blocks) ensures that SILC members will all go forwards in the spirit of honesty, SILC principles and membership. - CRS trained the Field Agents (FA) upgraded into a Private Service Providers (PSP) to ensure that SILC Groups formed will continue to function and caters to the needs of interested people who wanted to be an organized group embracing the SILC principles. Three Field Agents have been trained as PSPs and recognized by the Barangay Development Council (BDC) of San Andres as a People’s Organization. All PSPs in Angono, Cainta and Taytay (ACT) were organized as PSP ACT Rizal to ensure that services will still be provided to the SILC groups formed in three municipalities. - CRS completed the 1st phase in the community but it doesn’t mean that the technical assistance of CRS is terminated. The partnership of CRS with the Diocese of Antipolo is a strength to multiply since the religious sector partnership is everywhere in the locality. Religious workers continue to assist in the monitoring of the SILC group alongside with the Committee on Livelihood and Training of the Barangay.