(Column) Speaking Out

November 7, 2009 11:46 pm 

MANILA, Nov. 7 — Responding to a disturbing survey indicating that only less than five percent of Filipino youngsters regularly save money, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) launched its Financial Education Program for Schoolchildren a few years back.

The alarming Citibank Financial Quotient Survey had also shown that Filipinos have a financial intelligence quotient of only 47.5, less than half the maximum score of 100.

The main objective of BSP’s financial literacy program is to integrate lessons on money, money management, savings, and basic economics related to saving in the public elementary curriculum.

Director Fe dela Cruz, who heads BSP’s Corporate Affairs Office, explains that the drive toward an industrialized status for the Philippines can be achieved only if all sectors of society fully realize the important role of savings in the development process.

She reiterated the belief that saving as a habit can best be developed among schoolchildren.

Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Jesli Lapus agrees. He emphasized the need to instill among Filipino schoolchildren the values of "pagkamasinop, pagkamatipid and pagkakaisa," and to help them develop the habit of "pag-iimpok" and proper money management as a means to ensure their good future.

“…(A)t an early age, our schoolchildren should acquire the values of pagkamaabilidad or pagkamalikhain and skills in pag-eentrepreneur so they can be productive citizens of the country,” Lapus said.

With that, the BSP and the DepEd signed in April 2007 a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on the Financial Education Program to promote savings and money management in public elementary schools.

The MOA has enabled the BSP and the DepEd to develop teaching guides on financial education for integration in the curriculum of all public elementary schools for three subjects: Sibika at Kultura, Heograpiya, Kasaysayan at Sibika (SK; HEKASI), Edukasyong Pantahanan at Pangkabuhayan (EPP), and Edukasyong Pagpapakatao (EP).

The teaching guides have since been distributed to 37,000 public elementary schools nationwide.

Last June 23, 2009, the BSP signed another memorandum of agreement, this time with the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Institutions (COCOPEA).

The COCOPEA, chaired by Msgr.Gerardo O. Santos, is made up of five member associations and 1,300 private schools nationwide.

The BSP will provide COCOPEA with 1,300 pieces of Compact Disc (CD) copies of the teaching guides on financial education that will be distributed to its members as part of its Philanthropy and Corporate Responsibility Program.

BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. confidently predicts that well-informed and well-trained children will eventually grow up into financially responsible adults who would positively contribute to the development of the country’s economy. (PNA)



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