The central bank recently inked a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and BDO Foundation to improve the financial literacy of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families through the Pinansyal na Talino at Kaalaman (PiTaKa) program.
OFWs urged to save regularly, spend wisely
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - March 4, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has intensified its campaign to encourage beneficiaries of remittances from Filipinos living and working abroad to save and invest more.

The central bank recently inked a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and BDO Foundation to improve the financial literacy of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families through the Pinansyal na Talino at Kaalaman (PiTaKa) program.

The BSP said the program wants to equip OFWs with the ability to better manage their remittances, get out of debt, set aside savings or make prudent investments, in preparation for a better life when they return home.

The central bank said OFWs are modern-day heroes as the remittances they send home to their loved ones in the Philippines consistently account for 10 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

 “Yet we continue to hear stories of OFWs facing financial struggles. The PiTaKa program aims to change these sad stories into ones with happy endings – OFWs and their families living together in the Philippines, with the capability to sustain their financial health, and productively contribute to the national economy,” the central bank said.

Latest data showed both personal and cash remittances hit record high levels last year.

Personal remittances consisting of cash and non-cash items that flow through both formal or via electronic wire and informal channels such as money or goods carried across borders rose by three percent to a record high of $32.21 billion last year from $31.29 billion in 2017.

On the other hand, cash remittances coursed through banks rose by 3.1 percent to an all-time high of $28.94 billion from $28.06 billion.

BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier said the Consumer Expectation Survey for the fourth quarter of 2018 showed that only 35.5 percent of OFW families are saving a portion of their remittances and only 5.1 percent are investing.

Fonacier said there are around 10 million Filipinos working and living abroad and their remittances account for about 10 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

The program also targets OFW families to remind them of the temporary nature of overseas employment, and encourage them to support their loved-ones by spending wisely, saving regularly and looking for ways to augment their family income.

OWWA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said the PiTaKa campaign would complement the existing and current financial literacy initiatives, both of the government and private sector, by reinforcing a more reachable, likeable, and shareable campaign.

 “Together with the BSP and BDO Foundation, we will put emphasis on values formation, forming new and better financial behaviors, and developing positive attitude in dealing with money. It is about time that we change our cultural perspectives about money,” Cacdac said

BDO Foundation president Mario Deriquito said his foundation has expanded the scope of its advocacy through a corporate citizenship initiative that benefits millions of migrant workers and their families in the Philippines.

 “BDO Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of BDO Unibank, is deeply honored to partner with BSP and OWWA for this worthy cause. We are one with you in efforts to help improve the financial standing of Filipinos and contribute to the country’s economic growth,” Deriquito said.

BDO Foundation laid the groundwork for its financial inclusion advocacy by forging ties with the BSP and the Department of Education last year for the development of financial education program for public schools.

OVERSEAS WORKERS WELFARE ADMINISTRATION PINANSYAL NA TALINO AT KAALAMAN
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