Born in 22 April 1957, Dr. Alip has been a consistent advocate of poverty alleviation through microfinance. Under his leadership, CARD MRI received numerous awards including the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service in 2008 and the Global Excellence for Microfinance by the Grameen Foundation, USA.
For 32 years, Dr. Alip, through the CARD MRI has helped many poor Filipinos get on their feet and eventually establish their own businesses. In an interview for Good News Pilipinas, Dr. Alip stated that CARD is helping the country by providing microfinance, micro-insurance, business development services, and other basic social services to the poor as the company currently serves more than four million poor families over 82 provinces nationwide with more than 2,400 branches / unit offices while its banking units (CARD Bank Inc., CARD SME Bank Inc. and CARD RBI) has been catering through its 109 branches nationwide.
In 2018, under his leadership, CARD MRI received accolades during the Open Collaboration for East Asian Networks (or OCEAN Summit) held at Cebu where he was awarded as the 2018 Elevating Homegrown Innovation Award for his commitment in eradicating poverty through the microfinance industry.
Dr. Alip has also served in various key positions in the Philippine Government. From 1998 – 1992, he served as the Deputy Executive Director of the Agricultural Credit Policy Council while from 1996 – 1998, he served as the Assistant Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
During his stint as Assistant Secretary, he was given the Secretary’s Award in 1998 for his notable contribution to the agrarian reform program. Later on, from 2002 – 2003, he served the Department of Social Welfare and Development as Undersecretary. In 2017, he had been appointed a member of the Department of Trade and Industry – Board of Investments (DTI- BOI) as one of the Governors. According to Trade Secretary and BOI Chairman Ramon M. Lopez, Alip’s addition to the board will greatly help in the evaluation of investment projects especially those harnessing growth through inclusive business and benefitting micro, small and medium enterprises.
Aside from different awards and citations, Dr. Alip has been elected as a member of the International Board of Directors of Oikocredit and sits as an adviser in Grameen Foundation, USA. He was the President and Chairman Emeritus of RIMANSI, a regional based association that promotes microinsurance among MFI players in Asia region. He has been recently appointed as the Senior Advisor on Microfinance of the Population and Community Development Association in Thailand.
Providing opportunities for the low-income communities, empowering the women and helping beyond microfinance - these are but some of the important points on how Dr. Alip is leading the CARD MRI.
For Dr. Alip, he believes that since no financial institution is servicing the low-income bracket, CARD MRI’s products are meeting an otherwise unmet need. Speaking in a crowd during the OCEAN18 awarding last November at Cebu, he noted that he had always put the focus of his services to the poor.
Dr. Alip attributes the CARD MRI’s high repayment rate to the fact the almost all of CARD MRI's borrowers are women. He also believes that women’s purposes for borrowing money directly benefit their families, as opposed to men’s tendency to flaunt their wealth in social situations.
It is one of the insights of microfinance that even small additions to a family’s income can have profound consequences - for better housing, for better nutrition, and, most of all, for better education Over time, these small benefits accumulate, securing and improving the lives of members and offering better hopes to the next generation.
While CARD MRI offers a variety of microfinance products, Dr. Alip takes pride in the services beyond loans, savings and insurance that they provide to these poor families. An example is how they help their nanays and other clients use their loans to start a business and eventually grow and develop it. This help comes in the form of trainings and educational seminars that teach basic concepts on how to start and run a business. Dr. Alip also hopes to establish an e- commerce platform for its clients where they can sell their food products online.
This holistic approach allows CARD MRI to help its clients beyond microfinance. And for Dr.
Alip, it zeroes in on the company’s central mission of uplifting the livelihood of the country’s
poorest communities. Microfinance is not a panacea for poverty. But as practiced and enhanced by CARD MRI in the Philippines, it is a hopeful path. Through it, Dr. Alip adheres that the poor are gaining control “over their resources and over their own destiny” – an aspiration that every CARD member strongly believes.