Entrepreneurship, financial literacy program in all educational levels pushed

By on April 9, 2015

Rep. Kimi Cojuangco (Facebook photo)
Pangasinan 5th District Rep. Kimi Cojuangco (Facebook photo)

MANILA — The House of Representatives has approved on second reading a measure instituting an entrepreneurship and financial literacy program in all levels of education nationwide.

Rep. Kimi S. Cojuangco (5th District, Pangasinan), chairperson of the House Committee on Basic Education and Culture, said House Bill 5603 would deliver highly relevant programs to Filipino students to address the pressing need for financial literacy and make them at par with the global standards on basic financial education.

The bill is line with the policy of the State to promote the sustained development of a pool of young Filipinos whose aptitude and skill in the field of finance and entrepreneurship shall be encouraged and honed through education and specialized training programs, Cojuangco said.

House Bill 5603, to be known as the “Youth Entrepreneurship and Financial Literacy Program Act,” amends Republic Act 6977, as amended by RA 8289 and as further amended by RA9501, otherwise known as the “Magna Carta for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).”

The measure substitutes House Bills 2464, 2700, 4713 and 2877 authored by Reps. Alfred Vargas (5th District, Quezon City), Anthony Del Rosario (1st District, Davao del Norte), Mark Villar (Lone District, Las Pinas City), Diosdado Macapagal Arroyo (2nd District, Camarines Sur) and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (2nd District, Pampanga), respectively.

Vargas said the government should arm the Filipino students with fundamental financial management and entrepreneurship know-hows.

“In the pursuit of a globally competitive labor force, many countries have already established financial education and entrepreneurial institutions and have included these fields in their basic education curricula,” Vargas said.

Del Rosario said the problem of unemployment and underemployment may be remedied if the country can produce graduates who are job creators rather than job seekers.

“To ensure that students process and synthesize a wide range of skills, attitude and knowledge to enable them to think critically and act creatively for personal, community and national development, it is imperative to include entrepreneurship as a subject in the secondary curriculum for both public and private schools,” Del Rosario said.

The measure shall promote youth entrepreneurship and financial literacy program to all levels of education nationwide, specifically providing that in the primary level, such program shall focus on the ideal values necessary to become successful entrepreneurs.

Under the measure, the Entrepreneurship Education Committee (EEC) shall be created, chaired by the Secretary of Department of Education (DepEd) and with members composed of a representative each from Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Youth Commission (NYC), and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development (MSMED) Council.

The EEC shall formulate a national plan of action for the implementation of this proposed Act, which shall include studying and standardizing all current programs of schools and institutions on entrepreneurship and financial literacy; and providing assistance, training, and support that will ensure coherence and clear progression of the objectives of the proposed Act.

The measure requires the EEC to provide information on available government and non-government assistance and training programs that may be availed of by students for further training and possible entrepreneurial and financial ventures; develop mentoring and coaching programs for the students in coordination with eligible entities to facilitate sharing of technical knowledge and skills and technology transfer; and coordinate with the Department of Agriculture and Land Bank of the Philippines to develop lending and other support programs specifically for agriculture-related entrepreneurship activities, among others.

To promote youth entrepreneurship development, the MSMED Council shall develop a national program using specific strategies such as identification of funding mechanisms to support young entrepreneurs in the incubation and start-up of enterprise projects, among others.

The MSMED Council shall include a representative of the youth who shall be designated by the Chairperson of the NYC to coordinate with the EEC on mentoring and support programs.

The DepEd Secretary, in consultation with the heads of CHED, TESDA and DTI shall formulate the implementing rules and regulations of the proposed Act.

Aside from Cojuangco, the bill’s co-authors are Mariano Piamonte, Jr. (Party List, A TEACHER), Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro City), Evelina Escudero (1st District, Sorsogon), Magnolia Rosa Antonino (4th District, Nueva Ecija), Estrellita Suansing (1st District, Nueva Ecija), Ibarra Gutierrez III (Party List, AKBAYAN), and Teddy Brawner Baguilat, Jr. (Lone District, Ifugao). (PNA)