Thursday, April 25, 2024

Cebuana Lhuillier: More Than Seven Decades of Uplifting Filipino Lives

Cebuana Lhuillier: More Than Seven Decades of Uplifting Filipino Lives

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Since the first Cebuana Lhuillier pawnshop was opened in 1953 (previously known as Agencia Cebuana), the company has continuously provided Filipinos with ease and comfort, especially when it comes to financial access. More than seven decades after, Cebuana Lhuillier, remains to be a household name in the country, as it has established a strong presence in Filipino lives as the leading microfinancial services provider.

By operating close to 3,500 branches nationwide, the company has successfully reshaped the financial landscape and elevated societal access to financial products and services in many ways possible.

Over the years, the company has strategically positioned itself at the intersection of financial and social impact, therefore transcending traditional business boundaries. It has redefined the role of a financial institution as it embraces a multifaceted mission that goes beyond conventional norms. At its very core, Cebuana Lhuillier consider microfinance as a social mission rather than a business of numbers, thereby assisting Filipinos in every step of their financial wellness journey.

Moreover, the company has also launched several corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives and specialized projects that uplift Filipinos, the company has shown its deepest intentions of helping Filipinos in the many facets of life. Aside from pushing financial wellness, Cebuana Lhuillier also advocates for education and champion sports development.

“We purposely continue to develop new products and services that we know will help uplift lives of Filipinos. We believe that our market is capable of making smart financial decisions if provided access to good products. Aside from that, we also champion education and sports as we believe that these are good tools for people to improve their lives”, says Jean Henri Lhuillier, Cebuana Lhuillier’s President and CEO.

A Proponent of Financial Wellness

According to statistics, the average C and D markets often undergo the different steps of financial wellness journey which starts from bridge financing to saving up, starting a business, getting insured, and learning how to invest. In its more than four decades of operations, Cebuana Lhuillier has evolved and introduced different products that cater to the needs of people in every step of their financial wellness journey.

The first one among these steps is bridge financing, which is something Cebuana Lhuillier has been long addressing through its pawning services. Aside from that, the company also offers loans, as well as money transfer products and services, to help Filipinos get funding that will get them through various scenarios.

The next step of financial wellness highlights the importance of saving up and a chance to safely store money. With this, the company launched the Micro Savings Account through Cebuana Lhuillier Bank, providing Filipinos an affordable and easy way to open an account and save money. Through this, Filipinos may open an account that doesn’t require a maintaining balance for as low as PHP 50 and with just one valid ID.

The next step is to open up a business, which is why Cebuana Lhuillier launched the KaNegosyo Center (KNC) which empowers MSMEs by helping them to start and grow their business. The company also offers Microbiz loans that can serve as capital for budding and existing business ventures.

For people with enough savings and for those who have their own business, there is an important need to be protected. This is where Cebuana Lhuillier Insurance Brokers (CLIB) and its products come in. The exceptional insurance products, such as ProtectMax which provides death benefits, accident or sickness emergency cash assistance, accidental dismemberment and/or disablement Benefit, among others for as low as PHP 50. Another remarkable offering is HealthMax, which has affordable offers that allows Filipinos between 15 and 65 years old to receive an annual maximum benefit of PHP 150,000 for emergency care and hospitalization in over 282 accredited hospitals nationwide.

The company also offers the Miners Protect for miners who were once considered uninsurable due to the risks that come with their job.

Lastly, Cebuana Lhuillier has also paved the way for affordable and valuable investment products that people can go for, especially for those who wish to attain a full circle moment in their financial wellness journey. The company has made it possible through the likes of Cebuana Lhuillier Jewelry, Cebuana Lhuillier Gold, and even through the Atram partnership through the KNC which enables people to invest in stocks for as low as PHP 50.

Through such offerings, Cebuana Lhuillier has demonstrated its unwavering commitment to financial inclusion.

An Advocate of Education

More than just being an established name in the financial space, Cebuana Lhuillier also highlights the importance of education in Filipino lives. Through the Cebuana Lhuillier Foundation Inc. (CLFI) and in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd), the company opened almost 150 Alternative Learning System (ALS) Centers nationwide with the goal of helping out-of-school youth and adults to complete their education, thus becoming the foundation’s biggest project.

The foundation achieves its goal by holding classes, workshops, and even symposiums. Cebuana Lhuillier’s program also extends its support to ALS programs of different schools by providing buildings, classrooms, and halls through donations.

What sets the Cebuana Lhuillier ALS program apart is that it secures every facility with the latest equipment. The foundation is also hands-on when it comes to the reproduction of reviewers and modules that their students will need. This makes the students under the Cebuana Lhuillier ALS program better equipped.

Aside from that, Cebuana Lhuillier’s ALS program also provides incentives to teachers, so that they can stay motivated to provide the best education for their students.

Over the years, Cebuana Lhuillier has also empowered dedicated students through its scholarship programs.

A Champion of Sports Development

Cebuana Lhuillier and its President and CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier has been supporting sports for more than four decades already, as he started with basketball with successful teams in the Metropolitan Basketball Association, Philippine Basketball League, and the PBA D League. Cebuana Lhuillier and Jean Henri were also at the forefront of the gold medal winning teams from 2003 to 2007.

But it is in softball and tennis that JHL has made the most impact on, until now. They are behind the very successful Philippine softball and tennis programs in the country, focusing both on national team support and grassroots development.

In tennis, Jean Henri Lhuillier was also instrumental in bringing top tennis superstars such as Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, Andy Murray, among others to the country in 2014 to 2015 as co-owner and team manager of the Manila/Philippine Mavericks.

Cebuana Lhuillier and Jean Henri Lhuillier have been supporting the country’s top players for several years such as Cecil Mamiit, Treat Huey, Eric Taimo, Ruben Gonzales, Katharina Lehnert, and Francis Casey Alcantara among others. They have also organized close to 2000 age group tournaments all over the country for the past two decades. Until now, they are continuing this with Jean Henri as the president of the Unified Tennis Philippines (UTP).

With Jean Henri as the long-time president of the Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines (ASAPHIL), Cebuana Lhuillier and Jean Henri have been at the forefront of ensuring success in international softball competitions of both RP Blu Girls and RP Blu Boys. Over the past decade, both teams have garnered more than ten gold medals in sea games and several podium finishes in the Asian softball competitions. Most recently, they enjoyed their best year in 2023 with four teams qualifying and competing in the world cup. Both the Blu Girls and the Blu Boys had the highest world ranking among Philippine sports teams by ranking 14th in the overall standing of World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC).

Becoming a Constant Presence in Filipino Lives

In the symphony of pushing with its mission to uplift Filipino lives, Cebuana Lhuillier cements itself at the forefront of companies which committed themselves to be a gamechanger. By having a wide range of products, services, education and sports initiatives that are matched with unwavering dedication, the company pledges to unfold its pursuit of inspiring positive change.