DSWD: Saving amid pandemic is vital

News Feature

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has recently stressed the need for people to “save big” side by side with the ongoing government efforts to provide financial assistance for various sectors of the community during the obtaining pandemic.

DSWD has expressed its support for the first Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Savings Day (ASD) observance on October 31, 2020, an initiative of the ASEAN Working Committee for Financial Inclusion, aimed to raise public awareness on the importance of savings to help promote financial inclusion in the ASEAN region.

The ASD observance on October 31, coincides with the World Savings Day (WSD) launched in 1924 by the World Society of Savings Banks to encourage people to put their savings in formal financial institutions.

Financial literacy will be helpful for Filipinos, especially for those considered “unbanked and underserved.” Lacking knowledge on the benefits of having their own bank accounts, Filipinos prefer to keep their money to themselves, the DSWD said.

BanKO, a subsidiary of Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), is among the financial institutions that partnered with the DSWD to educate Filipinos on financial literacy and better management of their money. Financial literacy intervention is the main thrust of BanKO’s project with the DSWD, BanKO said on its website.

BankO said the financial literacy sessions of DSWD and BPI “tackle needs versus wants” and the importance of savings for the family development sessions of 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program) and SLP (Sustainable Livelihood Program) program beneficiaries. Th new ASEAN initiative is supported by members of the Interagency Financial Inclusion Steering Committee and the banking industry associations in the Philippines.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said it promotes savings through formal bank account as they “serve as a gateway for Filipinos to access a range of other welfare-enhancing financial services.”

BSP’s 2019 Financial Inclusion Survey released earlier this year reported that “53 percent of adult Filipinos are savers, but 51 percent of them save at home.”

The ASEAN initiative comes with the #SaveBig2020 program.

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