New Year’s Message from Pres. Paz Radaza 07 January 2008

Dear Fellow Rural Bankers,

The ushering of a new year brings anticipation and hope to everyone as it also marks the wisdom and experiences gained from the past year. It is a fitting culmination to the numerous activities that have unraveled and a rebirth to the optimism and challenges that lie ahead. It is this spirit that strengthens our determination to reach greater heights and embrace loftier ideals.

The year 2007 has been a trying one for our Association as it grappled with a leadership issue that has impaired its operation since June 2006. While hobbled by legal constraints, the 2006-07 RBAP Board led by Immediate Past President Francis S. Ganzon remained steadfast in their resolve to deliver the services needed by our member-banks. It is with this forthright tenacity shared by the majority of the member-banks of our Association that enabled them to transfer the leadership of our Association to the current 2007-08 RBAP Board which I have the privilege to serve as its President.

Since we took office last September 2007, we have declared our unequivocal intent to continue to provide meaningful and substantial services to our member-banks to nurture their growth as a stakeholder in the rural banking sector in particular, and the Philippine financial system in general. We support the broadening of their operation to participate in the opportunities occasioned by the prevailing liberal banking environment as well as the benefits brought about by globalization. We refuse to be distracted by the political noise that emanates from the festering leadership row that continues to undermine our credibility and productivity as a sector.

We shall overcome this adversity by remaining focused on our goal which is to advance and safeguard the welfare of our member-banks and the rural banking sector as a whole. We have the support of the government through their regulating agencies principally the BSP, PDIC and the Department of Finance, our partner financial and corporate institutions from the public and private sectors. Most of all, we have your support as a believer in the aspiration of all rural bankers for a brighter and a promising future, an enduring bond that we all share and cherish.

On behalf of the Officers and Directors of the 2007-08 RBAP Board, we convey our felicitation and greeting of a Happy and Meaningful New Year to all of you.

Very truly yours,