200K 4Ps beneficiaries to get financial literacy training

Published by rudy Date posted on September 11, 2014

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is confident that some 200,000 household beneficiaries of its flagship poverty alleviation program, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), will be given financial literacy education this year.

DSWD Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman said that the ongoing “BanKo Para Sa PangaraKo” project between the DSWD Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) and private partner BPI Globe BanKo (BanKO) to promote financial literacy among the country’s poorest of the poor, was proving them right that the country’s poorest of the poor can be taught, and encouraged to open bank accounts and save.

Starting last May when BanKo and the DSWD’s SLP started the conduct of financial literacy training sessions up to August last month, there has been 70,000 Pantawid Pamilya families that has opened their own savings accounts after undergoing the financial literacy training.

Collectively, the new account holders have reached a total of P9.8M in transaction value, with at least a collective savings of P8.4M for the period of May to July, and this figure does not yet include the savings for the month of August.

“This is already a high number,” Soliman said in a recent press briefing held after the formal signing of the partnership agreement for the BanKo Para Sa Pangarap Ko project at the DSWD central office in Batasan Hills, Quezon City with BPI Globe BanKo president John Rubio and BanKo chief development officer Rob Nazal.

From May to July, SLP has facilitated some 2,793 financial literacy sessions, with BanKO representatives serving as subject-matter experts, to Pantawid Pamilya families in Payatas, Quezon City; Tuburan, Cebu; Tacloban, Leyte; Culion, Palawan; and Carmen, Cagayan de Oro.

Under the “BanKo para sa Pangarap Ko,” DSWD and BanKo is targeting to provide financial literacy education to 200,000 4Ps beneficiaries this year.

The project also encourages them to open savings accounts with an initial deposit of P50.

Soliman said that the project with BanKo was very timely since poor families need a financial instrument for a sustained growth.

“Let us provide them with some financial capital,” she asserted.

“Let us allow them to become instruments of development, and eventually, they will be able to say that they can bring about positive change in their lives,” the Secretary urged.

“We have proven once again that [we can achieve] partnership, synergy, and convergence between the public and private sectors for inclusive growth,” shared Soliman.

Globe BPI BanKo noted that latest Bangko ng Sentral Pilipino (BSP) figures showed that out of the 100 million Filipinos, 80 million do not have access to formal financial services.

Under the program, BPI Globe BanKo committed to deliver financial literacy sessions to all 4Ps SLP beneficiaries and give them the option to open affordable financial services.

“To me, the dream for a financially literate Filipino, a self-sufficient Filipino, is not just BanKo or DSWD, this is what we mean by inclusive growth. This is what we mean by making sure that no one is left behind. Because as you all know, having the financial instrument is the major step to ensuring that they could sustain the growth and development that they are experiencing right now,” Soliman said.

BPI Globe BanKo president John Rubio, for his part, said that they were passionate in effecting a situation where every Filipino has a bank account.

“We’re very passionate about the fact that we want to erase that number (only 2 out of 10 Filipinos have a bank account). We want 10 out of 10 Filipinos should have a bank account,” Rubio said.

“What we see is that a lot of Filipinos, when they have an urgency, or they have a dream to send their children to school, or they want to set up their first business, a lot of times, they don’t have cash to go to. Coz they haven’t learned how it is to save, to set something aside for a rainy day or set aside for their future,” Rubio said.

If Filipinos will learn to maintain a bank account and save, Rubio said, the practice of usury, colloquially refereed to as “5-6,” where a lender will lend a borrower P500 and then collect back P600 with the P100 as a 20 percent interest, can be eradicated.

“When you don’t have a bank account and you need money, you go to a 5-6. Twenty percent interest is such a burden for our countrymen to start building their lives,” Rubio said. –Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star)

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