IRENE C. BERMUDA-FERNANDEZ
Irene’s wealth of experience is in the finance and entrepreneurship fields.
In 2002, she was instrumental in the conceptualization and establishment of a marketing channel for the different products of PRRM’s partner sectoral organizations. She led the development of the module on Enterprise Management for partner people’s organizations.
She was part of a team that established the Lagawe Highlands Rural Bank, Inc. (LHRBI), in Ifugao. She served as the bank’s first compliance officer for two years. From 2013 to 2018, she also served in its Board of Directors, representing shares of stock of a cooperative.
Her decades-long career in PRRM include coordinating the B2B project implemented in several provinces in 2003 to promote the use of the internet in marketing the agricultural products of small producers of rice, vegetables, fruits, fish and other commodities.
She co-authored a study entitled, “Heeding Poverty: An Assessment of Microfinance in the Philippines”, published in 2009 by the John J. Carroll Institute for Church and Social Issues (JJC-ICSI) based in the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU). The publication was funded by ICCO through Oikocredit.
She joined the International Network of Alternative Financial Institutions (INAF) – Philippines as Program Officer (2002-2013) and as Project Coordinator (2010-2013) for the Migration and Development Project on Financial Literacy with funding by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
In 2015, she co-managed the PRRM Microfinance, Inc. (PRRM-MFI), and developed the manual of policies and procedures for administration and finance/accounting. She additionally proposed and developed PRRM-MFI’s micro-insurance product.
Irene performed a part-time stint with the Department of Finance (DoF) in the early part of 2016, particularly with the Philippine Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PH-EITI) Project. She provided assistance to the Grants and Contracts Specialist in the development of the internal financial system, financial reporting, documentation of granting and awarding of procurement of goods and services.
From 2016 to 2023, Irene was the Partnership Unit Manager in the Foundation for a Sustainable Society, Inc. (FSSI), leading in the planning, monitoring and evaluation, system administration, value chain development, and equity financing (seed capital and scaling up) of enterprises. She also managed grants, business development services and special projects.
Irene has attended trainings, conferences and workshops relevant to entrepreneurship, leadership and management, and banking and finance here and abroad.
She is a farmer and start-up entrepreneur. She harnesses her energies and inspiration from decades of service in the development sector.