MOA on financial literacy for civil servants forged

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By Rose de la Cruz

 

Millions of government employees—the bulk of whom comprise the rank and file receiving meager wages from a structured 8-hour work shifts are the most financially-challenged segment of society who live for the next payday.

 

When emergencies/crises strike, they are prone to borrow from loan sharks or take on more jobs (often sacrificing work quality and productivity) to be able to meet their dire realities. From clerks and messengers, janitors, policemen/soldiers, teachers and doctors or nurses many of them do not save or invest for the future.

 

The higher they go to the service ladder, the higher their lifestyles and expectations of them become that they are hardly given a chance to seriously invest for the future. Some have invested in hard assets like cars, houses and other tangibles but perhaps a handful have gone into investing in securities, bank accounts and other better yielding instruments in the market, most of which they can pluck out in the future should the need arise.

 

Because of this reality, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, BDO Foundation and heads of different agencies and government institutions have started last year focusing their financial literacy efforts on these “unbanked” and financially-challenged civil servants to reduce their ranks and make them aware that their future is literally in their hands (and heads).

 

Last year, BSP and BDO Foundation signed financial literacy programs with the heads of the Department of Education (focusing on teachers, non-teaching staff and their students); the Army and the agencies handling the affairs of overseas Filipino workers.

 

Last week, the proponents forged a memorandum of agreement with the Civil Service Commission targeting the millions of state workers on financial literacy and how saving/investing can better their lives.

 

The MOA was signed by CSC chair Alicia de la Rosa-Bala; CSC Commissioner Leopoldo Valderosa Jr., BSP Deputy Governor Cyd Tuano-Amador (representing BSP Gov. Benjamin Diokno); BDO Foundation president Mario Deriquito, BDOF trustee and corporate secretary Lazaro Jerome Guevarra. The signing was held at the Batasan Pambansa Complex in Quezon City and was witnessed by BSP Deputy Gov. Chuchi Fonacier and Pia Roman Tayag, BSP Center for Learning and Inclusion Advocacy managing director and BDOF independent trustee Felina Arellano and BDO Foundation program director Rose Espinosa.

 

Stakeholders, CSC and BSP and the partners affirmed their commitment to implement and develop new financial literacy interventions nationwide.

 

Part of the multi-sectoral collaboration, which supports BSP’s National Strategy for Financial Inclusion, is the mainstreaming of the existing financial education resources developed by BDOF and BSP in CSC’s training and development programs.

 

Initially, the financial education program will be integrated in the training sessions conducted by CSC for its officers, new employees, retiring employees and other personnel all over the country. Subsequently, it will be rolled out in the entire government bureaucracy and embedded in the regular training programs for civil servants across all agencies. Further, the partners will explore the inclusion of financial education in CSC’s civil service eligibility assessments and performance evaluation systems.

 

“This corporate citizenship initiative helps strengthen the capability of CSC and other government agencies to provide financial education to government workers,” Deriquito said.

 

Together with CSC and BSP’s Center for Learning and Inclusion Advocacy, BDOF will deploy relevant training resources on such topics as saving, investing, debt management, entrepreneurship and avoiding scams, among many others.

 

Through the partnership, BDOF will extend the benefits of its financial education program to all personnel in the entire government bureaucracy. Ultimately, our goal is to help civil servants achieve financial independence, he added.

 

Inventory

 

According to the Inventory of Government Human Resources of CSC, over one million civil servants in various government agencies are expected to benefit from the tripartite initiative.

 

Adding the beneficiaries of the ongoing financial education program of BDO Foundation, the Department of Education (DepEd) and BSP for public school teachers and non-teaching personnel, the partnership project with CSC is expected to reach a total of around 1.8 million civil servants all over the country.

 

The collaboration with the commission is the latest forged by BDO Foundation in line with its financial inclusion advocacy. Together with BSP, the foundation also partnered with DepEd, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and Philippine Army for financial education programs for public schools; overseas Filipino workers and their families; and soldiers, officers and civilian personnel of the army.