Microfinance regulator eases compliance requirements for NGOs 

THE Microfinance NGO Regulatory Council (MNRC) said it has eased the requirements for non-government organizations (NGOs) engaged in such lending in order to avert any failure to comply with the law governing the industry.   

Memorandum Circular No. 1 Series of 2021 detailed prudential relief measures such as the relaxation of the P1 million minimum fund balance requirement, the minimum 50% rating in financial performance indicators, and the minimum 60% weighted average rating for all performance indicators.

“The MNRC recognized the request of the microfinance industry for prudential relief measures aimed at encouraging accredited (microfinance) NGOs to concentrate their operations and resources in the continuous delivery of microfinance services during this extraordinary situation,” the MNRC said in the memorandum circular, published Monday. 

The regulatory relief measures will allow NGOs to remain compliant with Republic Act (RA) No. 10693 or the Act Strengthening Nongovernment Organizations (NGOs) Engaged in Microfinance Operations for the Poor, and its implementing rules and regulations.

“Reports and other documents to be submitted to the MNRC covering calendar year 2020 under Item 3 of MNRC M.C. No. 2, Series of 2020 shall be extended to (Dec. 31),” the MNRC said.

Reports or documents submitted to the MNRC Secretariat’s official e-mail address during the lockdowns will be recognized as valid and authorized submissions, “provided that they are consistent with the applicable provisions of RA 8792, or the Electronic Commerce Act of 2020.” 

“The MNRC shall thereafter require physical copies of required reportorial submissions according to the established rules and regulations once the state of public health emergency has been lifted,” it said.

Those seeking regulatory relief are required to submit to the MNRC a letter detailing their intention to avail, the specific measures to be availed of, their reasons, information on their operations, and a statement of good standing from the relevant government agencies.

“Accredited NGOs shall ensure that the measures to be availed of are suitable to their operations, situation and condition,” the MNRC said.

Applications for the relief measures may be submitted personally or through registered mail or courier. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte