Vision & Mission


CARD MRI is a world-class leader in microfinance and community-based social development undertakings that improves the quality of life of socially-and-economically challenged women and families towards nation building.


CARD MRI is committed to:

  • Empower socially-and-economically challenged women and families through continuous access to financial, microinsurance, educational, livelihood, health and other capacity-building services that eventually transform them into responsible citizens for their community and the environment;

  • Enable the women members to gain control and ownership of financial and social development institutions; and

  • Partner with appropriate agencies, private institutions, and people and community organizations to facilitate achievement of mutual goals.

Our History

“Only by creating a vehicle for asset ownership can we ensure that the poor will gain control over their own resources and over their own destiny.”

Beyond Microfinancing

The History of CARD MRI

After the People Power Revolution in 1986, I together with 14 rural development practitioners, started to turn my vision of establishing a bank owned and managed by landless poor coconut farmers into reality. With a capital of twenty pesos, office with an old desk and three chairs, and an old and battered typewriter, the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD) was established.

We started to develop a mix of training and livelihood activities for landless coconut workers in San Pablo City, Laguna under the Landless People’s Development Fund (LPDF). The training was the first of many time-bound projects back then, ranging from cow dispersal to deep-well installation. It was Professor Takayoshi Amenomori, then Secretary General of the Asia Community Trust (ACT), who gave CARD its first program support of USD20,000.

Eventually, we saw that the interventions we did not have a sustainable effect on the communities we were serving. The LPDF project then allowed me and my colleagues to rethink and re-imagine our ways of addressing poverty in the country’s most economically depressed areas. We all understood that moving out from the claws of poverty takes more than just training and livelihood assistance. We realized that people need a way to build assets. With assets, people can build capital and it is only through the ownership and control of capital that a variety of forms of empowerment can emerge.

“Only by creating a vehicle for asset ownership can we ensure that the poor will gain control over their own resources and over their own destiny.”

The 5-8-40 Direction

In 2015, CARD MRI came up with the 5-8-40 Strategy. This means that in five years, CARD MRI hopes to provide microfinance and social development services to eight million clients and ensure 40 million individuals.

This new strategic direction of CARD MRI pushed us to really reach those who are in the far-flung communities. We have expanded our outreach by opening more branches, micro-banking offices (MBOs), and unit offices in islands, towns, and municipalities where formal financial services are limited. This, I believe, is the edge of CARD MRI – we always go beyond and keep on braving the seas just to reach the hard to reach communities in the Philippines and even in Southeast Asia.

Our Team


Our team is composed of highly motivated people, from the rank and file to the senior executives, whose dedication is unparalleled. Our executives and most of the senior officers have more than 30 years experience under their belts in managing and running a social enterprise. Their education from different disciplines have proven to be an effective tool in realizing the goals of CARD MRI, similar to a well-oiled machine, working in perfect synergy towards one direction or goal: eradicate poverty in the Philippines.

The 2008 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service

Ramon Magsaysay Award Presentation Ceremonies 31 August 2008, Manila, Philippines

Dr. Alip receiving the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service in behalf of Center for Agriculture and Rural Development Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI) for successfully providing self sustaining financial service for half a million Filipino women and their families.

Awards and Recognitions

  • 2007 – Prize for Excellence in Community Economic Development, SNHU, USA
  • 2005 – People Power Award given by Former President Corazon Aquino.
  • CARD was given Plaque of Recognition and Appreciation by the Peoples Credit and Finance Corporation on September 14, 2003 for having successfully extended microfinance services to 110,798 clients.
  • CARD Bank was awarded the Plauqe of Recognition on December 4, 2001 by the Peoples Credit and Finance Corporation, Asian Development Bank and Associated Resources for Management, Inc. (ARMDEV) for presenting its winning strategies during the Grameen Bank Approach Replicators Managers’ Conference.
  • CARD was awarded the FLAME OF EXCELLENCE AWARD on October 17, 2000 by the Coalition for Microfinance Standards in recognition of its outstanding performance and attaining level of excellence at par with the Microfinance Performance Standards.
  • CARD was first runner-up for EXCELLENCE AWARD conferred by the Grameen Foundation in New York, U.S. A. on October 30, 2000.
  • On the Occasion of the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), CARD was the recipient of the OUTSTANDING COUNTERPART AWARD on October 26, 1995.
  • CARD was given Plaque of Appreciation by the Presidential Management Staff on July 7, 1990 in recognition of its support, participation and cooperation to the program and projects of the presidential Social Fund and for its commitment to serve the people in partnership with the government.