2 courses soon out to teach adult Filipinos financial literacy

2 courses soon out to teach adult Filipinos financial literacy
People flock to Ylaya Street, Divisoria, Manila for their weekend shopping on March 11, 2023.
STAR / Ernie Penaredondo

MANILA, Philippines — Two new courses on personal finance management and financial literacy will soon be available to the public and students in select colleges and universities as part of a campaign to make personal finance education more accessible to Filipinos.

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is set to launch a free, online course on financial literacy through its TESDA Online Program platform by 2024 under the platform's Lifelong Learning Skills courses. 

The TESDA online platform has 151 online courses across various sectors and has around 4.4 million registered users.

College course on financial literacy

Meanwhile, several government agencies, including the Commission on Higher Education and the National Economic and Development Authority, have inked an agreement establishing a “Personal Finance 101: ‘My Peso and I’” curriculum as a three-unit elective course for selected higher education institutions in the country.

TESDA’s financial literacy course, created in partnership with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and BDO Foundation, will cover topics related to financial planning, saving and budgeting, debt and investment management, digital financial literacy, and consumer protection. 

In a press release on Thursday, outgoing TESDA Director-General Danilo Cruz said the project “targets to improve the financial health and capability of over 4 million tech-voc learners.” 

Cruz also said the course aims to help tech-voc learners make “sound financial decisions.”

During the launch of the new course, BSP Governor Felipe Medalla also said that tech-voc learners are the "linchpin of the Philippine economy" and highlighted the importance of "upskilling vulnerable sectors."

Meanwhile, soon to be a part of the curriculum in select colleges and universities is "Personal Finance 101" — a course that covers the "basics of financial planning tools and techniques," a press release from the NEDA stated. 

The course aims to help students "develop analytical skills to make crucial financial decisions regarding savings, credit, investments, insurance and retirement planning."

During the signing of the memorandum of agreement for the course, NEDA Undersecretary for Policy and Planning Rosemarie Edillon said that the financial literacy program supports the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028 “on promoting an inclusive, innovative, and healthy financial sector.” 

“Financial literacy has been identified as a major strategy to broaden and deepen financial inclusion,” Edillon said.

Economic think tank IBON Foundation estimates that around 70% of households or 18.6 million Filipinos did not have any savings at the end of 2022, based on its analysis of BSP data. — Cristina Chi

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