Videos to inspire savings, investments



By Rose de la Cruz



Beginning this school year, public school learners will be exposed to videos and curriculums that would teach them the value of savings, investing and preparing for their future needs and wants following the signing Monday of the memorandum of understanding among Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Department of Education and the BDO Foundation.


The joint undertaking is called Financial Literacy Program for schools which aims to share lessons on financial responsibility with public school teachers (who despite their currently better pay than most civil servants are caught in debt traps from their unplanned and unnecessary purchases), non-teaching personnel and learners. This is also in line with the partners’ shared goal of providing financial literacy education specially to underserved sectors of society.


Signing the agreement in the BDO head office in Ortigas were Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Gov. Nestor Espenilla, BDO Foundation trustee Nestor V. Tan and BDO Foundation president Mario Deriquito.


Deriquito is excited about the program in that it is composed of carefully-developed materials that are expected to make learning and teaching financial literacy more fund, interesting, engaging and effective.


He added that the program has potential for rapid rollout and scaling up within the DepEd system, which will enable BDO to reach all learners and teachers in the public schools as well as DepEd’s non-teaching staff.


As BSP Governor Espenilla said the program has been conceived as early as 2008 but “it is only now that it has become a reality, with BDO Foundation embracing it as its flagship program under its financial inclusion goal. The financial literacy program is aimed at supporting DepEd’s financial literacy education in its K to 12 curriculum.


Videos on topics like investing, responsible use of credit, personal budgeting and financial management in understandable formats will be produced in the coming months by the Foundation in collaboration with its partners.


During the program signing, the videos to be distributed to public schools were shown to the media and other visitors, to which Tan narrated that he too learned about savings and investing only from his parents (with him and his brother walking instead of riding to be able to buy their cherished barbecues and have something to pay for their future purchases).


A demand side survey showed that Filipino adults can correctly answer only three (3) out of seven (7) financial literacy- related questions covering basic numeracy, computing compounding interest, fundamentals of inflation, and investment diversification.


Only 2 percent (2%) of Filipino adults answered all questions correctly. The study also showed that Filipinos lack specific knowledge to make informed financial decisions.


However, the same study indicated that money management habits formed in childhood stay into adulthood. Those who began saving as children display better attitudes to saving and tend to outperform their counterpart group who did not develop the habit early in the areas of choosing financial products and services, monitoring expenses and planning for retirement.


Several literatures also show that a financially-literate population is able to make better financial decisions, have higher levels of savings and diversified investments, and are more competent in managing debt.


These data suggest that the best way to nurture sound financial culture and behavior among future adults is to start practical financial management lessons at a young age. There is global recognition that embedding financial education in a school setting, thru a formal curriculum, is among the most efficient ways of improving financial literacy of Filipino youth.


The value of saving and wise use of money is a critical life skill necessary to prepare them to become productive citizens and successful future leaders.


Espenilla, Jr. noted that, “the BSP believes that a financially-learned citizenry can be more effective in productively contributing to the Philippine economy.


To date, financial education remains a formidable task, one that requires coordinated multi-stakeholder action. With DepEd onboard in this partnership, the commitment of our educators, and private sector support, we can collectively influence every child who goes through the Philippine educational system to strive towards a healthy financial future.”


 The BSP will remain a strong supporter of financial education initiatives, and ready to partner with like-minded public and private sector stakeholders. He said the BSP believes that a financially-literate citizenry is able to understand, select and effectively use financial services that fit their needs can significantly benefit from participating in the financial system as depositors and investors.


They can better protect themselves from fraud and harmful financial practices and be more effective BSP partners in maintaining price stability and ensuring a strong, safe and efficient banking and payment system, Espenilla explained.


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Thursday, 24 January 2019
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