THE low percentage of Filipinos who know how to manage their money prompted a lawmaker to propose a measure urging the government to provide financial literacy to the workers.
House Bill 4363 author Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas stressed the need to provide Filipino workers tips and lessons on how to improve saving skills and how to increase their income.
Based on the recent survey of Standard and Poor (S&P), Philippines was one of the 30 least financially literate countries in the world, with only 25 percent of adults aware of the basics of managing their money.
The Financial Literacy for Workers Act, is aimed at establishing a financial literacy and entrepreneurship education program to Filipino workers, was already referred to a technical working group of the House Committee on Labor for consolidation and approval.
According to Vargas, while Philippines is considered an entrepreneurial country, most Filipinos continue to hold back from realizing their entrepreneurial aptitude.
“Among these challenges include lack of adequate knowledge on financial management, high cost of doing business, lack of access to finance and market information, and low productivity and competitiveness due to the lack of economic capacity,” Vargas said.
Under the measure, the Department of Labor and Employment is mandated to create a financial literacy program so the Filipino workers will have knowledge on how to generate more income and ultimately lead a life of economic and financial freedom.
The measure states that DoLE should provide assistance in the form of grants or loans, to deserving working entrepreneurs to enable them to launch their own small or medium enterprises.
“The DoLE is also directed to offer grants and loans to eligible groups that will provide financial literacy and entrepreneurship programs to the workers,” the solon explained.
During the 16th Congress, Vargas championed the passage of Republic Act 10679 or the “Youth Entrepreneurship Act” purposely to address the low level of entrepreneurial and financial skills among young Filipinos.
According to S&P survey, some 75 million Filipinos have no idea about inflation, risk diversification, insurance, compound interest and even the idea of having a savings account in the bank.