Jala / Sikoba cooperation agreement to establish local credit cooperatives in the Philippines
Sikoba has entered into a partnership agreement with Jala, developers of the Jala ID+ Card, to help establish a local credit cooperative in the Payatas district of Quezon City, Manila.
For the past year, Jala has been working with the “Concerned Citizens of Payatas” initiative to establish a local credit cooperative. Payatas is a poor, slum-like district of Quezon City, which is the largest city in the Philippines and part of the Manila metropolitan region. Many inhabitants and small businesses in Payatas are exploited by loan sharks who charge interest rates of 150% per annum and more. The cooperative aims to provide community-funded loans with much lower interest rates.
Jala and Sikoba will work together to set up a pilot program with an initial 1,000 participants. Jala has the necessary local contacts, and will provide the Jala ID+ card to the program participants. Sikoba in turn will make its sikobaPay mobile app “Jala compliant”, meaning that it will be able to communicate with Jala’s ID+ card via NFC (near-field communication). The card will be used as a confirmation of a user’s identity.
If the pilot project is successful, the goal is to expand the project not just in Payatas, but also in other districts of Quezon City and eventually in other cities in the Philippines.
Jala is a company dedicated to Sustainable Development Goal 1: Poverty Alleviation. It also wishes to enable the secure distribution of Subsidies, Aid, and (Relief) Goods. Jala provides IDs to people in the “informal sectors” via community authentication processes and equitable economic opportunities via e-wallets to the “unbanked,” creating the necessary decentralized digital infrastructure for people in poverty to “level-up.”
Jala was founded by “Mushin” Jürgen Schilling, who lives in Quezon City. Mushin was previously co-founder and Software Architect of Swisscon construction software, worked as Chief Community Host & Web 2.0 developer for Gaiasoft Inc., London, among others designing and implementing the participatory “meshwork” software first used at the State of the World Forum 2009. Previous to his engagement as an entrepreneur he has been working in personal and organisational development and transformation.