(Photo from Senator Win Gatchalian FB page)

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has filed a bill that will require the teaching of financial literacy in elementary, secondary, and tertiary levels, including technical-vocational institutions.

Under Senate Bill No. 479 (Economics and Financial Literacy Curriculum and Training Act), all public and private schools, local universities and colleges, state and private colleges and universities, and technical-vocational schools and centers are required to develop a course focused solely on Economics and Personal Finance (EPF).

The measure also seeks to provide EPF professional development to teachers.

At the elementary level, the EPF course will cover basic economic principles such as, but not limited to, individual and family financial goal setting, evaluating expenses, and budget preparation

Secondary, tertiary, and technical-vocational education levels will cover topics such as credit, savings, investment, and retirement, among others.

“Providing financial education to the younger generation is essential to ensure their security and well-being in the future. A financially literate Filipino youth will be able to make well-informed financial decisions that will positively impact their personal financial circumstances, empowering them to take better advantage of economic opportunities,” said Gatchalian, chair of the Committee on Basic Education.

“Tinuturuan natin sila ng kaalaman at kakayahan upang makakuha ng maayos na trabaho, ngunit hindi natin itinuturo kung paano ang tamang paggamit ng salapi. Kung matuturuan natin sila ng financial literacy, matuturuan natin silang makamit ang pag-asenso at mamuhay nang mas matiwasay (We teach the youth knowledge and skills to land good jobs but we don’t teach them how to invest their money. If we can teach them financial literacy, we can help them lead prosperous lives),” Gatchalian said in a news release.

Gatchalian pointed out that while 89 percent of the Filipino youth rely on their parents’ financial knowledge, the Global Financial Literacy Survey conducted recently by index provider and data source Standard and Poor’s shows that only 25 percent of Filipinos are financially literate.

This means that 75 percent of Filipino adults, including parents and teachers who will be the younger generation’s source of financial knowledge, are not financially literate.

Government agencies such as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Department of Finance, Securities and Exchange Commission, National Credit Council, and Department of Education have financial literacy programs but Gatchalian said they may not be sustainable if not institutionalized within the education system. (PNA)

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