Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP) holds biggest convention in Clark

The Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP) led by President Atty. Mary Ann Tupasi-Saddul held its 70th Annual Nat’l Convention, General Membership Meeting at the Widus Hotel and Casino in Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga. 

Slated from June 7 to 8, the event was a gathering of presidents, CEOs, rural bank owners, directors, presidents, senior officers & key staff; key partner government agencies; and other stakeholders across the country. Dubbed the biggest annual convention ever held with Congressman Irwin Tieng (5D-Manila), House Committee Chairman, Banks and Financial Intermediaries, as keynote speaker. Tieng itemized the pending legislations in Congress supporting the concerns and welfare of the country’s existing rural banks .

With this year’s theme: “Rural Banks: 70 Years of Touching Lives and Inclusive Development” the convention unveils rural banks’ positive impact, clients’ success stories, and relevance in touching the lives of local communities in a span of seven decades servicing the farmers, fisherfolks, microentrepreneurs, and MSMEs at the Widus Grand Ballroom.

Former RBAP President Elizabeth Carlos-Timbol, ELTI GROUP INC. (ELTI) president and CEO, stood as the event committee chairman. She delivered her welcome message while Atty Albert Concha Jr., RBRDFI president lipped the opening remarks.

Carlos-Timbol was the first Kapampangan and 3rd RBAP lady president.  During her stint, she devotedly shared her valuable strength and time to the industry where she previously held the national director and treasurer positions. ELTI started in the real estate industry and evolved into a multi-industry holding company. Conducts business in banking, financing, & consulting, hotel & tourism, education, and agriculture.

“We have a record breaking 567 delegates, four confederations, 28 federations and a great number of industry experts gathered in one roof to discuss policies, concerns and updates within the industry. Aside from the comradeship, the program is also exceptional because it is packed with dynamic speakers who tackled new projects available for rural banks, breakout sessions, share success stories, inspirational messages and opportunities for delegates to engage with allies from other parts of the country,” said Carlos-Timbol.

As RBAP Foundation Chairman and CEO of Guagua Rural Bank, Inc. (GRBank), Carlos-Timbol closely works with organizations that aim to support the Philippine economy especially countryside sectors such as farmers and MSMEs and established the new generation of bankers age 40 and under.

Topics and Pool of Speakers

Session 1- “The Evolving Landscape of Rural Banking” with sub-topics on Mergers & Consolidation and Best Practices in SAFr Rating with speakers Antonio Pasia (Malarayat), Expedito Bollozos (First Philippine Partners), and Cesar Magallanes (RBT); Session 2 – “Shifting from Traditional To Digital Banking” with speakers Katrina Marie Pilapil (Rural Bank San Mateo), Almora Resurreccion (Rural Bank Bay), and Wilhelmino Sonny Mendoza (South Bank).

This year’s annual convention is RBAP’s first time to converge all its members in Clark in order to have a memorable and meaningful event and at the same time discover Central Luzon’s rich heritage and culture.

Lined-up Activities

Pre-convention Lakbay Aral rural bankers tour with resource speakers from GR Bank, Bank of Florida and Porac Bank; visit and immersion activity at the Anak Bale Balayan Museum, giant lantern center and Angeles City museum; welcome dinner hosted by the Department of Tourism Region 3 at the Diosdado Restaurant, golf tournament at Clark Sun Valley Golf Resort and Great Gatsby-themed fellowship night at the Widus Grand Ballroom.

The Anak Bale Balayan rendered the welcome presentation playing ethnic instruments.

Major Sponsors

Generous sponsors include Country Bankers Insurance, MB Philippines, Toyota Motor Philippines, PLDT, NEXT LOGIC, Intelligent Touch, Transunion, Sybrin and many more.

Delegates Reactions

Most of the delegates interviewed by iOrbitNews shared that, “It’s our job as CEOs to think
strategically and navigate the path to the future. You can’t do that by
sitting in your bank. You need to be open to new ideas and concepts and you get that at the RBAP Annual Convention,” also mentioned that, “The RBAP Annual Convention is the place to gain high-level insights into where the banking industry is going, and how banks like yours and mine can meet emerging challenges and
compete effectively.”

“What I enjoyed most about the RBAP Annual Convention was connecting with bankers from all over the country. There was an exciting energy among all of the delegates as everyone was eager to participate in the sessions, ask questions and continue the
conversation,” said RBAP President Atty Tupasi-Saddul.

Moreover, the RBAP’s mission is to support the ability of its members to offer quality banking services to all their constituencies, comply with regulatory requirements, and to promote the welfare of the communities in which they operate.

Revisiting The Past

In 1955, the RBAP was founded as a non-incorporated association of rural financial institutions.

Led by Alfredo Montelibano, Sr. of the Rural Bank of Bacolod City, representatives of the original 18-member rural banks formed a voluntary association. On June 28, 1957, the association penned and submitted its Articles of Incorporation to the Securities and Exchange Commission.