The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Wednesday emphasized the need to “save big” amid the ongoing government efforts to provide financial assistance for the different sectors of the community during the pandemic.
In a social media post, DSWD said it supports the celebration of the first Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Savings Day (ASD) on Oct. 31, 2020.
“The ASD is an initiative of the ASEAN Working Committee for Financial Inclusion, aimed to raise public awareness on the importance of savings in line with efforts to promote financial inclusion in the ASEAN region,” DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao said in a statement.
The annual celebration of ASD on Oct. 31, coincides with the World Savings Day (WSD) launched in 1924 by the World Society of Savings Banks to encourage people to put their savings in formal financial institutions.
The agency has an existing vision of financial literacy for the Filipinos, especially for those who are considered “unbanked and underserved”.
Lacking knowledge on the benefits of having their own bank accounts, Filipinos prefer to keep their money to themselves, the DSWD said.
BanKO, a subsidiary of Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), is among the financial institutions that partnered with the DSWD to educate Filipinos on better management of their money. Financial literacy intervention is the main thrust of BanKO’s project with the DSWD, BanKO said on its website.
The financial literacy sessions of DSWD and BPI “tackle needs versus wants” and the importance of savings for the family development sessions of the 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program) and SLP (Sustainable Livelihood Program) beneficiaries, BanKO added.
This new project of the ASEAN is supported by members of the Interagency Financial Inclusion Steering Committee and the banking industry associations in the Philippines.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), for one, said it highly promotes saving through a formal account as it “serves as a gateway for Filipinos to access a range of other welfare-enhancing financial services”.
BSP’s 2019 Financial Inclusion Survey released earlier this year reported that “53 percent of adult Filipinos are savers, but 51 percent of them save at home”.
From Oct. 26 to 30, BSP will be hosting a series of webinars dedicated to introducing financial literacy to Filipinos. The ASEAN program comes with the #SaveBig2020. (PNA)