MANILA – Senator Paolo Benigno ‘Bam’ Aquino IV on Sunday said he was deeply alarmed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ report that most Filipinos have no savings to fall back on.
Aquino said it’s high time to cultivate a culture of savings among our countrymen through financial literacy and entrepreneurship.
“The report that four out of 10 Filipinos have no savings to be used for emergency is very alarming,” Aquino, chairman of the Senate committee on trade, commerce and entrepreneurship, said.
Aquino was referring to the BSP’s National Baseline Survey on Financial Inclusion, which revealed that only four out of 10 Filipinos have savings. Out of those four, only 32 percent put their savings in banks.
“What if an emergency comes up where we need cash, like a disaster or a sudden illness?” Aquino, a world-renowned social entrepreneur, asked.
While almost all Filipinos are aware of banks, the survey showed that only five out of 10 adults have actually done any banking transaction.
The BSP report stated that the country suffers from low financial literacy mainly because most Filipinos do not have money to save.
“We have to change this by developing a culture of savings among our fellow Filipinos, especially the youth,” Aquino stressed.
“We have to strengthen our push for financial literacy to educate our countrymen on the importance of saving for rainy days,” he added.
As a staunch advocate of financial literacy, Aquino has co-authored and sponsored the Youth Entrepreneurship Act, which was recently ratified by both houses of Congress and is currently awaiting the approval of President Aquino.
The measure creates financial literacy modules in all levels of Philippine education, to inculcate a culture of enterprise development among the Filipino youth.
The Act also provides would-be youth entrepreneurs access to financing, training, market linkages, and other means of support that will help them run and develop their own business.
“By arming the youth with enough knowledge about financial literacy, the future looks bright for them as they prepare for their next phase in life,” Aquino said.
The Youth Entrepreneurship Act is also believed to be an effective tool to solve the growing number of jobless youths in the country, which currently stands at 1.32 million.
“We need to look for new ways to create an environment where Filipinos could earn more than enough for their daily household expenses and be able to save and invest for their future,” he added.