Investment/ Finance

Juan, Two, Three of Financial Literacy

You’ve heard it a lot, financial literacy, but do you really know what it’s all about?

If you know how to budget , or make ends meet, does that mean you are financially literate?

One problem each and every Filipino has is enough money-know-how to have better finances.  Most are so used to surviving another payday or living like a millionaire for a day so to speak, and hang on to a thread when it’s “petsa de peligro.”. We are so bad at handling our finances that having a financial goal for us is just being able to pay our bills and have enough food on our plate each and every pay period.

Did you know that 21 percent of the 52.8 million adults in the country do not have formal bank accounts because of their perceived lack of need for them. BSP’s 2017 Financial Inclusion Report also states that 10 percent do not have proper knowledge of how to open an account, while 8 percent have a lack of awareness about it. 

On top of that, many Filipinos still often find the term “budget” as intimidating—associating it with being time-consuming, boring, and restrictive. Some even think one has to be good at math to be great at budgeting.

That’s why in 2016, Home Credit officially launched its flagship campaign “Juan, Two, Three”, which focuses on teaching the basics of budgeting and saving to different communities all over the country. Through the use of creative approaches like games and comic books, the campaign equips Home Credit customers and the public with the know-hows in handling financial tools. 

Just recently, Home Credit held a financial literacy conference with some bloggers .  One of our speaker was Fitz Villafuerte, a financial advisor and owner of the blog How to Be Rich!   I actually learned a lot from him especially about financial goals.  He set my head straight about my misconception about it and made me actually see the goal , visualize it and not see is as difficult at all.

Financial goal, he said, is something you wanted to do/achieve in short term, medium, term and long term and there is no wrong or right goals.  Financial goal is something personal and should not have any standard.

Villafuerte’s example was like if your goal is to travel with the family in Boracay in 2020, or buy a condo by 2023, then that is where you should put your money on.  Which actually makes sense.

Another speaker on the event was Atty. Aileen Amor Bautista from the Credit Information Corporation (CIC) and BSP.  She actually mentioned exciting things about individual credit score in the Philippines.

CIC is a goverment owned corporation that collates credit information of individuals and corporations.   You can actually see your  personal credit record because all companies and Corporation who do loans and financing should submit to them the information as mandated by the law.  Don’t worry if you are an individual because no one else but you can see or request for your credit information.

This is good news for the country, Bautista said, because more transparency and more people learning their credit profile the more they can manage their finances better. It will also mean lower interest rates in the future because people will be financially learned.

Apart from budgeting and saving, Home Credit  also touches on the topic of borrowing, which is largely anchored on Home Credit’s core business of providing financing services to customers who are often first-time borrowers.

“Since we offer loans, it’s important for us to also inform people, especially our customers, about the key principles of safe and responsible borrowing. Part of our financial literacy campaign is transforming the way people look at borrowing by teaching them how to properly manage their loans and maintain good credit score,” says Franchette Cardona,  Home Credit Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer said referring to the misconceptions usually attached to borrowing.

“Having the flexibility to buy the things you need, when you need it is a good thing. Making late payments, however, can negatively affect your credit score—making it more difficult to get loans and credit in the future,” Cardona adds. “We make sure people know both the benefits and risks associated with borrowing for them to have better financial decisions.”

 Juan, Two, Three campaign is one of Home Credit flagship projects that emphasizes on financial literacy.  They have been doing this since 2016  .

 “Juan, Two, Three”, which focuses on teaching the basics of budgeting and saving to different communities all over the country. Through the use of creative approaches like games and comic books, the campaign equips Home Credit customers and the public with the know-hows in handling financial tools. 

This year Home Credit joined Credit Information Corporation and BSP in the first ever Kapihan sa Manila Bay on financial literacy to support the government’s drive to promote financial inclusion in the country. It also visited farmers and major rice industry players in the recently concluded 9th National Rice Technology Forum in Mindoro. 

The impact it has brought on the communities it has visited has earned Juan, Two, Three the 2018 Silver Stevie Award and 2019 Bronze Stevie Award for Innovation in Community Relations or Public Service Communications. The Stevie Awards is a premier award-giving body that recognizes outstanding organizations that make positive contributions in the industry.

“Our goal is to fill in the gap where financial education is needed. Right now, our main focus is to educate as many as we can and help them learn the basics so they can feel more empowered in handling their money. We’re also hoping that we encourage these people to become future Financial Literacy Ambassadors too so they can help educate more. These are small steps, but if we want to achieve something bigger, we have to start with these,” closes Cardona. 

 

 

 

 

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