December 08, 2016 03:21 AM

AN ILOILO-based wholesaler and retailer of construction tiles, stones, granite and marble slate won the Citi Microntrepreneur of the Year Award.

The young businesswoman, Honie Krizia Navor, received the top award in the annual Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards (CMA) held at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Dec. 6, 2016.

Navor was first nominated as youth entrepreneur of the year, but with "her exemplary performance" she was elevated as the top winner, according to Citi.

Seven other microentrepreneurs were also recognized under the regional and special categories in this year's CMA.

The regional awardees are:

Luzon – Richiel Vargas, producer and distributor of garments for bicycle and motorcycle riders

Visayas – Angelita Dagoc, guitar handicrafts maker

Mindanao – Marcelina Occeña, herbal oil producer and retailer

Kevin Pacatang, producer and distributor of native chocolates, was named as the Youth Microentrepreneur of the Year.

Special awards were given by the CMA National Selection Committee (NSC) to Manuel Iwayan, collector and recycler of rubber tires, for Green/Sustainable Business; Renato Mercado, organic farmer and fertilizer wholesaler, for agro micro-business; and Wilberto Dagame, homemade candies producer, for Community Leadership.

Collectively, the winners received nearly P2 million in cash and non-cash prizes, including life and health insurance coverage, entrepreneurship training, laptops, and information technology training.

"Eight entrepreneurs are being recognized and awarded in acknowledgement of their success as business owners as well as for the many contributions made by them in creating employment opportunities in their respective communities," Citi Philippines CEO and NSC Co-Chair Aftab Ahmed said.

BSP Governor and NSC Co-Chair Amando Tetangco Jr. views the annual as an "early Christmas gift" as the winners give the BSP "reasons to celebrate. In so many ways, you inspire confidence and serve as role models among those who are just starting their own micro ventures."

The central bank chief underscored the importance of policies and programs that keep the microfinance industry strong and healthy.

"In particular, we took into account the unique characteristics of the microfinance such as the use of group liability arrangements, cash-flow based and character lending, high frequency amortizations, and having less documentary requirements. Our policy is working as intended as banks get more involved in microfinance," Tetangco said.


The NSC members include GMA Network Inc. President and CEO Felipe Gozon, Philippine Airlines Independent Director Antonio Alindogan Jr., RFM Corp. President and CEO Jose Ma. Concepcion III, Philippine Daily Inquirer Chair Marixi Prieto, University of the Philippines Chancellor Michael Tan, Voyager Innovations Inc. President Orlando Vea, Ayala Corp. President Fernando Zobel de Ayala, and former Commission on Filipinos Overseas Chair Imelda Nicolas. (GMA News)