Dec 3, 2013 KV Kiva HQ
By Brandon Smith
Update on Kiva's Field Partners, Borrowers, Fellows and Field Staff in the Philippines
Last update on December 30

Following the devastation from Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, we reached out to our family of Field Partners, borrowers, Fellows and field staff to check on their safety and well-being. We wanted to share those updates -- including additional ways you can help -- as we receive them here.

We've also received a lot of interest in forgiving loans for those affected by Typhoon Haiyan, and our Field Partners are currently going through the process of assessing the situation with each of their clients. Since those Field Partners are in the best position to determine which borrowers were directly affected by the storm, and how that might affect their ability to make repayments on their loans, they'll be making the call on which loans to restructure or write off if necessary. We appreciate the generosity of those who have written in with their interest in helping borrowers in this way, and know that together with our Field Partners we will continue to do whatever we can to help those affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

An update on our Field Partners in the Philippines December 3
 
Our two Field Partners that were most affected by Typhoon Haiyan -- Community Economic Ventures, Inc. (CEVI) and Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, Inc. (NWTF) -- are both likely to experience high delinquency rates in the near future.
 
CEVI currently has a high delinquency rate of 32.6% since they didn't have power at their head office for most of November and were unable to communicate repayments to Kiva. We've emailed affected lenders to let them know their repayments were delayed this month and that the loans would temporarily appear delinquent until we're able to obtain accurate information. That said, it's likely we'll continue to see higher than normal delinquency rates in the months ahead since the CEVI branches were hit so hard by the typhoon.
 
NWTF and their Kiva borrowers were also severely affected by the storm. NWTF was still able to report repayments last month, but we'll likely see a steep rise in delinquencies for the next round of repayments. A total of 6 branch offices were affected by the typhoon, so they're still in the process of measuring the impact on their borrowers. We did hear back about one particular Kiva borrower that was featured in a blog post earlier this year, Renee. NWTF reports that she is doing alright, but has lost almost everything and the future of her business is uncertain.
 
As CEVI and NWTF continue to assess the full extent of the damage, they'll be sharing information about their plans for restructuring and/or forgiving loans. We've also been working with our partners to fund loans for borrowers affected by the typhoon -- loans specifically designed to help clients get back on their feet. Our partners haven't yet posted these loans since they're still dealing with the typhoon aftermath, but we'll continue to keep you updated on their status here in the blog.

Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, Inc. (Field Partner)

NWTF is managing a round-the-clock call center and gathering data at all of their branches to make sure all staff members and clients are accounted for. They're also using this info to direct their relief efforts and help the 49,918 borrowers (and counting) that have been affected. They wrote with the following update:

In the immediate aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda, we are still assessing the extent of the damage.
 
From our initial contact with our branches, the most devastated area was the island of Leyte; Tacloban and Palo were flattened. We evacuated our Tacloban and Palo branch staff to the nearest branch in Samar for their safety and security, though some of our staff will need to undergo trauma counseling; many feared for their lives as buildings were literally swept to sea. Both branches were wiped out and there's very little food or water now. Sanitation will also be an issue since the dead have not been recovered yet.
 
We will be sending teams from the head office in the next day or so to help our staff, contact our clients and distribute relief goods to them. We have taken care of the immediate needs of our staff, although those in Leyte traveled to Samar with just the clothes on their backs -- everything else was wiped out in the storm surge. We are worried that many of our clients are in even graver states.
 
We had an emergency meeting at the head office today and from the initial reports, we will be declaring moratorium of payments from all of the Leyte branches, as well as some in Northern Cebu, Northern Negros Occidental and Northern Palawan — if the damage is extensive, we may have to default many of the loans or at the very least restructure them to help our clients rebuild their lives.
 
As soon as we have more information, I plan to send out a journal update to lenders about our clients in the affected areas and let them know that there might be delays or defaults in payment as a result of this calamity.
 
We are hoping that you could help us enable our clients to rebuild. Where we can, we plan to restructure the loans and release bridge loans to clients so they could rebuild their businesses, and we hope that you will allow us to raise funds for the restructured loans of clients in these affected areas or allow them to take a 2nd loan so that we can help them get back on their feet at the soonest possible time.
 
We will update you as we get more detailed information. We would also truly appreciate your help in raising funds or sending relief goods for the typhoon victims.
 
We also received the following update on November 19th:

[Following Typhoon Haiyan], we had to bring all of our branch staff from Tacloban, Palo, Ormoc, Kananga and Naval to Bacolod for trauma debriefing and counselling. Another reason why we had to evacuate them from Leyte was because there was no food or water. On Thursday, November 8, even before the storm hit, one of our staff from the head office who was in Tacloban had to wait in line for 4 hours just to buy bread. During the height of the storm they had to literally scramble for their lives as the roof flew away, and water entered the buildings they were sheltering in. And after the storm, they had to deal with seeing dead people in the streets and walking long hours just to get to safer ground. Our branch offices in Leyte were totally destroyed.
 
The good thing is that in spite of their harrowing experience, the field staff are committed to go back and help our clients. The first team is leaving for Leyte early on Thursday. We are sending 250 sacks of rice, 10,000 1-liter bottles of drinking water, 21000 cans of sardines and clothes for distribution to our clients. This is not easy to organize as the truck carrying the relief goods will have to cross 2 islands: from Negros to Cebu, then Cebu to Leyte, and we are dependent on availability of the ferries to make the crossing.
 
Once we make sure that our clients are okay, we will move to the next phase and help them rebuild. We are very grateful to WholePlanet Foundation, because they already informed us that they will convert the USD 333k zero-interest loan that has been sustaining our branches in Ormoc, Kananga and Naval into a grant and they have also offered to explore additional grant funding to assist in the rebuilding of microfinance operations in Leyte.

The following update from NWTF was posted on December 30th: 

Since our last update, we received confirmation that one of our loan officers from Tacloban died when her family home was swept in the storm surge. Her parents also perished in the storm. Her brother was the only survivor from the storm, but he is devastated as he also lost his child while they were hanging on against the wind and the waves.
 
Our disaster relief team finally got to Tacloban on December 3 after waiting for several days in Cebu to cross over to Leyte. The branch staff had returned to Leyte the previous week and had started to map and locate the clients, and so far they have identified 85 members who were lost or died during the storm. The only good news about this is that they had insurance coverage, so we are now processing the release of the insurance money to their beneficiaries.
 
After we heard the report from the disaster relief team, the directors decided that we hold a toy drive for the children of Leyte. So last Monday we went to give out the toys and meet with the clients in Palo, Tacloban and Ormoc. 
 
As mentioned in the last update, we declared moratorium based on the status of the branch:
 
  • C1 and C2 branches, which were the least affected were allowed to declare 1 week repayment (November 6-15) in their affected centers;
  • C3 branches were allowed to declare up to 2 weeks (Nov 6-22) moratorium;
  • C4A branches were allowed to declare 2 weeks moratorium and may extend it if the branch and area managers determine that it is necessary;
  • C4B branches were allowed to declare moratorium for the whole of November, and up to December – based on feedback from the field we may even have to extend this to January.
We sent journal updates to all Kiva lenders who lent to NWTF borrowers, and depending on the degree of impact of the location and client, we informed lenders that we may submit partial or no payment from the clients. And as usual, we uploaded the collection report as we received them from the branches.
 
For the worst hit branches (C4B) with an ongoing payment moratorium, we are following these rehabilitation steps: map and locate clients, and distribute relief goods; invite clients to attend a meeting and update their status and impact from the storm; conduct IGSS -- interview clients about how they plan to restart their business and if they need to do house repairs; assess whether to offer a new loan, or restructure their existing loan and offer a bridge loan; and process the loan for disbursement or restructuring.
  
We will soon be offering four special loans for disaster relief:
 
  • Restructuring of outstanding loans. We will allow repayment up to 36 months – we are still studying if we could afford to make this principal payments only with zero-interest.
  • Bridge Loans to restart their business. $23-$115 for a maximum period of 12 months (we will offer this to clients with PPI scores of <34).
  • Special Loans for house repair/rebuilding and/or to restart business activities. $23-$675 for a maximum period of 12 months.
  • Green Loans to support client’s business activities (amount to be determined by client’s capacity to pay).
These loans will likely be posted in January under the “Disaster Relief” loan attribute.
 

For additional updates from the Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, please also visit their Facebook page.

Community Economic Ventures, Inc. (Field Partner)

CEVI is part of the World Vision network, which has launched a large scale relief and recovery operation. Several members of the staff from CEVI have volunteered to assist in these efforts and are now deployed on the ground in Leyte -- one of the most severely hit areas.

We also heard from CEVI directly:
 
Our branches in the provinces of Iloilo, Cebu, Bohol, and Leyte were affected by typhoon, but the most severely affected are the two branches in Iloilo and two branches in Leyte. For now, communications and power supply are difficult in these provinces, but we were able to reach out to staff and thankfully they are fine. So far we've provided initial assistance such as food and water, and will proceed with a more formal assessment next week once roads are cleared and local authorities secure the area -- especially in Leyte.
 
You can see more photos and updates on World Vision's Facebook page.

Center for Community Transformation Credit Cooperative (Field Partner)

November 18th update provided by CCT:

The whole world heard about what happened in the Philippines and how Typhoon Haiyan destroyed some of the areas -- specifically Tacloban.
 
Our staff that we've been able to reach in the Visayas report that 100% of CCT community partners in the provinces of Capiz and Iloilo lost their homes, and 970 community partners in Coron, Palawan were affected. We have yet to determine the number of families affected in other areas and are still trying to establish communications with co-workers and 35 partner churches in Tacloban, Leyte.
 
By God's grace, CCT is mobilizing all the funds and relief goods that we can get to send to the affected areas. Some of our team members and doctors are now in Capiz assessing the damage and providing medical help. We praise God for the several churches and individuals who have expressed their desire to partner with CCT. Our Ka-Partner Network friends have also launched a fundraising site to gather donations from the US. We are coordinating with the Philippine Red Cross for us to go to Tacloban by air or land so we may help to locate and secure our partners.
 
We invite you to join us in this effort of helping our community partners and staff in whatever way we can.

Kiva Fellows update
 
We recently had two Kiva Fellows serving in the Philippines: Mike Mazur and Ron Beaton.

Mike has since moved on to Indonesia prior to Typhoon Haiyan's arrival, but was previously working in the areas now affected by the storm. Ron Beaton is currently in the northern parts of the Philippines and confirmed safe. We also have another fellow in the region, Huyen Bui, who is safe in Vietnam. 

Other ways to help

Our friends over at GlobalGiving have set up a Super Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund and several other specialized relief projects in the wake of the storm.

TIME World has also assembled an excellent collection of NGOs and charities that are mobilizing relief efforts in the Philippines:
 
If you’re looking or have information on a missing person, Google Person Finder has launched a Typhoon Yolanda page. A Google Crisis Map is also available for evacuation and relief information.
 
The mGive Foundation is collecting donations from U.S. wireless subscribers, who can text AID to 80108 to give a $10 donation to the organization’s Philippines Typhoon Diaster Relief Fund. Charges will appear on the user’s wireless bill or will be deducted from a prepaid balance. Text STOP to 80108 to stop or HELP for assistance. Full terms are available here.
 
UNICEF is supporting relief efforts by helping displaced families find access to shelter, clean water, food and vaccines and airlifting $1.3 million of additional supplies from its Copenhagen warehouse. You can donate online, call 1-800-367-5437 or text RELIEF to 864233.
 
The Philippine Red Cross is providing a tracking service for family members looking for missing people. The organization is accepting donations on its website (100 PHP = $2.30) and is looking for volunteers to help assemble relief packages at its headquarters in Manila.
 
The American Red Cross has also activated a family-tracking service for those looking for a missing family member in the Philippines. Donors can send a check to their local chapter, indicating “Philippines Typhoons and Floods” in the memo line.
 
The World Food Programme is mobilizing 40 metric tons of high-energy biscuits and additional relief supplies, but it is also accepting donations online or by calling 1-202-747-0722 or +39-06-65131 from outside the U.S.
 
CARE is accepting donations on its website and has deployed workers to the Philippines to assist with emergency relief. You can donate by phone at 1-800-521-2273 or +1-404-681-2252 for international calls.
 
Oxfam has emergency responders on the ground to assist with relief support. The organization is asking for contributions to its Typhoon Haiyan Relief and Recovery Fund online.
 
International Medical Corps is also on the ground to help assess damage and is accepting donations on its emergency-response page for Haiyan relief.
 
ChildFund International is distributing clean water, food, blankets and other emergency aid items. Staff members are also setting up child-centered spaces in evacuation centers to offer counseling and relief for children and their families. Donate online.
 
Doctors Without Borders has had 15 members of an emergency team in Cebu since Saturday. The organization is sending more staff to assist with medical and psychological treatment as well as items such as medical kits, vaccines and hygiene kits over the next few days. An additional cargo with an inflatable hospital and medical material is being prepared to leave later this week. Donate online.
 
The International Rescue Committee has also dispatched a team of aid workers to assist in assessing the damage and providing access to clean water and hygiene and sanitation needs. The organization is asking for donations online.

As the affected countries and communities begins to rebuild themselves, we will be sure to keep you updated with news from our Southeast Asian family of Kiva borrowers and Field Partners in the coming weeks.

 

Comments

Buck and I are willing to forgive any loans we may have in the Plilipines heavily devastated areas.

I am also willing to forgive any loans I have to borrowers in heavily devastated areas in the Philippines.

Thank you for the detailed update Brandon! It gives us all a clearer picture of the difficulties ahead. As things get sorted out, I'm sure the Kiva community will be ready to help any way we can!

I am also willing to forgive any loans made in the area - and it would be nice if there would be for example charity loans to support the borrowers to get on their feet.

I had just made a loan to Valerio in the Philippines and I am certainly able to forgive payment on that loan, I have already made a donation to a relief fund for the Philippines typhoon relief.

Don' t worry about forgiving loans. There will be many defaults either you want it or not. The sad truth is that a lot of borrowers are either dead (injured)/or became distitutes. Donations should be made through organizations listed above, not through Kiva loans.

The Salvation Army and Church World Service are two agencies who have on-going programs in the Philippines and were in a position to give immediate relief. Relief agencies from the religious community are often omitted from lists in disasters, yet they are known for their efficient and caring relief aid. Check out the website of your faith! www.salvationarmy.org www.churchworldservice.org

Obviously it would be foolish to demand anything from people who lost almost all, so I'm all open to restructuring/forgiving loans to affected people. But there's also a second side to this: Is there a way for the Kiva community to help in rebuilding by supplying loans? I currently got about 1,500 $ sitting around on my bank account, for which I don't have an immediate use (but which I'll likely need some years down the road, so donating/giving away is not an option – after all, im still a student!). So I could loan these to people in the Philippines in need, and receive that money in like 3-4 years, after they're out of the direst straits. Or wouldn't this be possible?

In some cases, the recipient will have died in the storm. Normally, the loan would be repaid within six months- one year at the max. The money is yours. God doesn't want your compassion to cause you pain. You might consider loaning to those people NEAR the hardest hit areas. They might help their neighbors from their surpluses. Thank you for your deep concern. Richard

I have great sympathy for the people in the Philippians, but I have several thousand dollars in loans there and forgiveness of loan would be a hardship. I know that Kiva had risks, but was not prepared to lose almost my full amount. It should definitely be on a case by case situation.

This is a great test for those who lend too and shows a true character in both camps (lenders and borrowers). Personally I think you should have diversified your portfolio (I currently invest in people from 63 countries thru Kiva), but lesson here (for many lenders whose loans default) is that if it doesn't kill your spirit of sharing and compassion, then it makes it stronger :) And for those who believe, note that God will bless the compassionate heart and provide in multiples to those were willing to sacrifice for the poor.

I would think they wouldnt all be defaulted since alot of the country was not affected by the storm. It would be like forgiving all US loans after Sandy. Would be illogical.

I read what I could about disaster relief and default of the loans. I saw no mention of defaults unless the lendee was deceased. Deferred compensation is not default. Some notes will be listed as delinquent because the office was flattened by the storm. There will be delays, and a few of them will be defaults. Not many. Just a few. At least that's what I'm counting on. I do this out of pride for the lendees. They are the fuel that makes this economic engine go. As each one is bettered by the loan, they are enabled to repay the note, making the money available to the next lendee. I'm just the guy with the TV and the keyboard. I'm pretty sure it won't be as bad as you think. Richard

This is a very difficult situation for everybody. IMO, forgiving/defaulting many loans will be tough on Kiva as well. Kiva is based on relending repayments. If repayments are not coming, loans are not getting funded (expire). A lot of expired loans will make many Field Partners unhappy...

I am concerned about the woman I have supported with a loan for her general store. How would I find out if she is okay?

Hi Marcie, thanks so much for the concern. We've reached out to our Field Partners in the region and they're all in the process of checking on their individual borrowers right now. While it may take some time to assess the extensive damage, the updates on borrowers you've lent to will show up here: http://www.kiva.org/updates/myloans

i'd like to make a loan to the phillipines and see 99 listed. have these loans not been effected by the typhoon? it seems the loans may not have been updated by the issues faced by lenders. will their use be modified and if so how.

There have been some loans added to Kiva the last couple of days that were both before and after the typhoon disbursed. So some of them were not affected.

I made a loan to Lilyn in the Philippines and I am certainly able to forgive payment on that loan. My daughter (in whose memory I am participating in Kiva) would have wanted to give the money to Lilyn.

I just want to know whether Gemma is okay. I'm fine with whatever is decided regarding restructuring or forgiving.

I have made loans to Rosita and Virginia. Will someone post on how these women are doing? I would be happy to let those loans go. And fund them again once they get to that point.

My thoughts and prayers are with all the people in the typhoon devastated areas. I am more than happy to forgive any loans to people in this area. They will have enough on their plate without worrying about making loan repayments. God bless.

All loan to the Philippines should be written off. I should think it is very hard to repay loans when your shop has been looted by desperate people. When things have settled down a bit, the people of the Philippines will need as much help as possible to rebuild there lives, this is were KIVA must concentrate their loan funding efforts. Regards Mike,UK

That, the desperate ones, are exactly the reason I want my money right in there slugging. Shop keepers desperately need new money to re-stock for their customers needs, Right now, street vendors are exactly what's needed; they care mobile, they have wit and skill to keep the business going, and they provide the 'comfort food' that people want to eat. Personally, I don't trust 'should'. Do, or do not, but don't 'should' on others. I want to see the people rebuild stronger and more prosperous than before. And I'm betting real money on my belief that they can. Richard

I am also willing to forgive loans to my Philippine awardees. And I'd kick in a bit more if Kiva needs to fill some funding gaps either on other loans where people aren't able to write that off, or for administrative issues.

What a response! I'm all in, because this can make and unite all Kiva lenders and make our spirit even stronger than before! For those lenders who would struggle to see their loans default and be discouraged to continue we should all donate to some KIVA fund which would reimburse a proportion of their losses should they sign up for such help. Lenders supporting other affected lenders would make everyone feel like one big family! :) Kiva United!

I couldn't agree more with your comments and many others on this subject. I can afford to loose my loan but can see that it may be difficult for others to do the same. The idea of a Kiva fund for the area seems to make great sense. I am ready to help with funds as soon as something could be set up.

I agree that any loan to the Philippine awardees should be written off in view of the utter devastation there.

I do not agree. Not all the PI was knocked out by Hynan. These folks have been through a lot before this and got back up. We may need a hedge against environmental disasters, and their effects on our ability to carry the mission forward. We have no information about the state of the loans other than the in country partners information. They indicate there may be a delay in re-establishing the records and bookkeeping, but no defaults yet. I'd like to see more flexibility in our accounting of these loans. Nobody knew they were going to get hit. Nobody planned on defaulting. They'll just need a months grace, or a supplemental bridge loan. They're not knocked out. They're just knocked back. Richard

The thoughts of all of us here at Mishcon de Reya are with the people affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

If we are going to forgive all Philippine loans, then we need to forgive all DRC loans as well. After all, in the DRC, people have been living in war conditions for some time. Many were killed, displaced, robbed, raped, etc.

So how do we forgive the loans?

I appreciate that the field partner has agreed to allow the entrepreneurs to delay repayment of their monthly loan installments due to the damages caused by the typhoon but I don't believe that a 1-2 weeks moratorium is enough...it should be longer, if not outright forgiveness of the loan balance

I agree with Robert&Carole that the 1-2 week moratorium won`t be enough .I too would be willing to forgive the Philippines loans. Will we get another update soon?

I would like to forgive my loan as well to assist in the relief effort. Please let me know how we can allow this. So many of us are willing here.

I'm not sure how that might go. I know the site has an option box to donate the repaid loan to KIVA. I'm not sure what happens after that. After reading several of these charity requests, I understand the sentiment, but disagree with the method. Many of these people wanted the loan to start or expand a business. There will be plenty to do, rebuilding. I can't tell anyone what to do with their money, but I want to see my clients recover, repay, and re-empower the next lendee. Any person who can keep a deal, make a living, and see the success of his work go further to help the (temporarily) less fortunate, are themselves empowered. I like how that works.

I want to forgive all loans I have out to anyone in the P.I. thank you.

I have several loans in the Philippines, how can forgive them? I also agree with the above comments that the 1-2 week moratorium won`t be enough. Will someone post on how these women are doing? My thoughts and prayers are with them.

My understanding is that the 1-2 weeks moratorium is for clients from slightly affected areas. For clients from badly damaged areas they announced the 4 weeks INITIAL moratorium+ rescheduling of a remaining loan balance+ a small bridge loan for restarting their businesses.

That sounds like a best practice. I know none of my loans were delayed at all, even the ones in Cebu. I'm expecting some delays. It's to be expected. But, I'm not writing anybody off just yet. Lately, I've spread the loans generally, in the PI. Currently I'm trying to underwrite loans on things most necessary for survival and recovery. People have to eat, talk, travel, and receive medical assistance. So, that's the sort I'm currently underwriting; Jeepneys, street vendors, computer and cell phone shops, salvage yards, construction materials, boats (both fishing and transport) tools and equipment. Remember, we started with the notion of a hand up. Not a hand out. What's stopping us now?

Brandon, Thanks for the update. If you are still reading here, I'd like to know about whether NWTF was ever able to locate all of their staff members. When I last heard anything about that, there were still 2 people unaccounted for, from their staff. Does Kiva know anything about that?

I've written to Kiva saying that I'm happy to 'forgive' my 2 (small) loans to those who may be affected, so am repeating the message here. I wish I was in a position to do more.

When Typhoon Wasabi hit Mindanao two years ago there was a lot of aid, did they recover, somewhat, actually they still need aid now, but have been more or less forgotten. This will be no different The Filipino is both proud and resilient, they will come back,but it will certainly take more than a few weeks, some still have no electric As I run my own charity there I know , three out of my four homes that provided help,have been destroyed,thats why I have not loaned for 90 days with Kiva For myself and my small team I do not mind the loans I have being written off, however only one is in trouble, they are still paying back, I am so proud of them

Any update when there might be some Disaster Recovery loans?

I would also prefer to forgive loans that I may have that would be in the Typhoon affected areas, if it's not too late. I hadn't even thought about it.

My portion of this Kiva loan in the Phillippines may be forgiven in the interest of helping people in this area recover from this terrible disaster.

Add new comment

Brandon is from North Carolina, where he studied journalism at UNC Chapel Hill. After interning at Kiva in 2012, he joined the staff full time in 2013 to serve as the Community Marketing Coordinator, Kiva's liaison with the 25,000 lending team communities. In his spare time, Brandon enjoys medium-format photography, biking around the bay, and keeping in touch with friends and family on the east coast.

Add Your Comments

LendingOnKiva