Surviving the Pandemic with Cebuana Lhuillier Micro Savings

The uncertainties that came with the global health pandemic led to financial stress that altered the lifestyle of many Filipinos. For close to two years since the global COVID-19 pandemic started, many lost their jobs and had to make do with what little savings they have stashed away.

A study titled, “State of Banking and Financial Wellness” commissioned by US-based research firm Forrester, indicated that more than half of Filipinos identified building their savings as one of their top concerns when it comes to personal finance. 

The desire to have money safely stashed when rainy days come, is one that is shared by every Filipino—regardless of stature in life or the money they earn. When COVID-19 hit, majority of Filipinos were left without a stable means of livelihood as the strict lockdown badly affected the economy, leading to a significant number of business closures and an uncertain future for those engaged in the gig economy.

Stemming from its desire to push for financial inclusion for every Filipino, Cebuana Lhuillier Bank partnered with Cebuana Lhuillier, one of the country’s leading micro financial service providers, to introduce Cebuana Lhuillier Micro Savings in 2019. Cebuana Lhuillier Micro Savings provided Filipinos with an accessible and convenient means to save their hard-earned money by addressing the common barriers in saving, including lack of accessibility, the need for numerous documentary requirements, and the high cost of a starting and maintaining a balance.

“Our main priority is to be a one-stop shop for the micro financial needs of our kababayans. With our commitment of financial inclusion and mobility for everyone, Cebuana Lhuillier Micro Savings account is one of the great products we have created to empower many of our kababayans to save, regardless of their status in life,” Cebuana Lhuillier President and CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier said.

The promise of having money saved in times of need was what inspired Cebuana Lhuillier Micro Savings account holders Pillilia Pardo and Maria Luisa Luna to open a savings account and work hard to build a comfortable fund that they can rely on when needed.

Pillilia Pardo, 79-year-old, sari-sari store owner from Las Pinas and a loyal micro savings account holder, dreams of imparting the value of savings to her children.

Pillilia, a 79-year-old sari-sari store owner in Las Pinas, makes sure to deposit a fraction of her daily earnings into her micro savings account. With her store located right beside the Cebuana Lhuillier Casimiro branch, she has become a daily fixture for the branch personnel who assists her on her everyday transactions.  

“Napakahalaga ng savings, kasi pag dumating ang pagkakataon na ikaw ay magigipit, kailangan mo ng pera. Kung mayroon kang ipon, anytime puwede ka makapag-withdraw,” shares the septuagenarian. When the pandemic hit, Pillilia used her micro savings account to augment her day-to-day expenses, which included medicines, food, utilities, and rent. When the lockdowns affected her store’s earnings, she was comforted by the fact that she did not have to resort to borrowing money in order to get by. “Hindi ka magsisisi kung nakapag-ipon ka…anytime nangailangan, nandiyan ang ipon ko. Mayroon akong magagamit,” she adds.

For Maria Luisa, it was her savings that literally saved her family in the midst of the strict Manila lockdowns. She earns her keep by collecting recyclables which she then sells in a junkyard. For over two years, even before the lockdown began, she would make sure that a portion of her earnings goes to her Cebuana Lhuillier micro savings account, which she intends to use during emergencies.

Maria Luisa Luna, a 64-year-old, garbage collector from Manila relied on her micro savings account when the pandemic badly hit her family.

“Hindi na kami  makapangalakal nung naghigpit sa lockdown. Yung kinakain namin, halos galing na lang sa ayuda ng gobyerno pero hindi naman sapat yun. Nagkasakit pa ang anak ko. Hindi ko naman matiis na hindi maipagamot. Doon ko na naisip na gamitin yung ipon ko sa Cebuana Lhuillier Micro Savings. Tuwing may kailangan sa bahay, gaya nang pangkain at pang-renta, withdraw ako. Tapos pagpapagamot sa anak, withdraw ulit,” Maria Luisa shares. She admits that the protracted quarantine period had drained her savings, but now that everything is slowly going back to normal, she has also resumed building her emergency nest egg, visiting the Cebuana Lhuillier branch nearest her after a day of collecting recyclables and items to sell.

Since its launch, Cebuana Lhuillier Micro Savings has enabled more than 5.5M account holders to have a semblance of peace of mind in times of great need and emergencies. As a cash agent, Cebuana Lhuillier provided account holders with a reliable and highly accessible venue to deposit and withdraw their money in any of its 2,500 branches nationwide, anytime and anywhere.

In 2020, Cebuana Lhuillier Micro Savings was made even more accessible and convenient with the introduction of its new digital features.

“We’ve always believed that Cebuana Lhuillier Micro Savings should be able to evolve according to the changing needs of its users. By going digital, Cebuana Lhuillier Micro Savings is providing greater IPON POWER to its account holders, by providing them convenience and mobility in maximizing the use of their savings through digital channels,” Cebuana Lhuillier bank President, Dennis Valdes added.

Cebuana Lhuillier Micro Savings boasts of greater IPON POWER through the following features: withdraw cash in over 21,000+ BancNet ATMs nationwide anytime and anywhere; purchase online thru UnionPay merchants worldwide; 24/7 unlimited banking access with eCebuana app; and do cashless payments in over 350,000 UnionPay and BancNet accredited stores nationwide.

With more and more Filipinos slowly realizing the value of saving, Cebuana Lhuillier Micro Savings is gearing towards further improving its features to better provide its account holders with a dependable ally they can continuously rely on.

31 thoughts on “Surviving the Pandemic with Cebuana Lhuillier Micro Savings”

  1. Financial inclusion is what we need now especially during the pandemic. I love that it has a lot of features especially the convenience and mobility in maximizing the use of their savings through digital channels. Truly a great financial product!

  2. It’s really admirable that companies like Cebuana Lhuillier offers this kind of financial inclusion to greater masses. I would love to support this initiative.

  3. It’s nice to note that Cebuana Lhuillier Micro Savings doesn’t stop in improving their services and features of their products. I admire it. I hope we have one in the US!

  4. This is really amazing! I really love Cebuana Lhuillier specially now that they have this really great financial inclusion!

  5. So many different things for different people. However, one thing that financial freedom should meet for all is that they have emergency funds should an emergency arise such as this pandemic. Things such as this seem like they would be very, very helpful.

  6. This is a great offering from Cebuana. This just encourages people to save and prepare for the rainy days.

  7. This is great to get some extra savings. I’m always learning new things that are options for people to use!

  8. Very great offer from Cebuana less requirement needed for open account. And it really helps a lot.

  9. Yes, this pandemic is such a mess – even for those who manage to stay healthy. We will have to deal with the consequences for decades. Micro-savings, however, are a good idea as long as the inflation isn’t raging, eating up all the interests.

  10. This sounds like a great resource for such difficult times. I love how they are enabling financial inclusion and mobility during these times of uncertainty.

  11. This is truly nice. I am glad there is some people who didn’t suffer during the times of the pandemic. This is how it should, for everyone.

  12. I haven’t had any ideas about micro-savings until I have come across your post. Great news and I’m happy for Filipinos.

  13. One little thing can tip the bucket. So a big thing like the pandemic can just wreak havoc on finances. It’s not fun at all. Savings is ideal to have… and worth the effort it takes to get it.

  14. It’s so great that they were in tune with what folks needed so that they could manage during such a difficult time. Hopefully everything will be looking up soon!

  15. We never know what obstacle will be thrown our way, and saving money is vital to having security and stability, whichever way the wind blows. With a family to support it’s even more important. This is the biggest lesson I’ve learned since Covid pandemic, to live within my means and save money.

  16. There is still a huge percentage of Filipinos who don’t have a bank account, and Cebuana’s program is will help the majority of the Filipinos to start saving money, and help them to use the money for their small business. We need to empower more micro-entrepreneurs coz they are the backbone of the greater economy.

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