Senator Win Gatchalian wants more Filipinos to become financially adept for their future by having savings and insurance accounts that they could tap into during times of emergencies and other unexpected financial difficulties.
Finding as “alarming” the results of the 2021 Financial Inclusion Survey conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Gatchalian filed proposed Senate Resolution No. 569, which seeks to address the gaps in Filipinos’ financial literacy through a Senate inquiry in aid of legislation.
“Dapat magbalangkas ang Kongreso ng mga patakaran para sa mga repormang tutulong sa mga Pilipino na magkaroon ng tamang kaalaman at desisyon sa paghawak ng pera kabilang ang pag-iimpok, insurance, pamumuhunan, at paghahanda para sa pagreretiro,” Gatchalian said.
“Base sa resulta ng survey, ang kakulangan sa financial literacy ay pumipigil sa marami nating kababayan na makapag desisyon nang maayos para sa kanilang kinabukasan at maprotektahan ang kanilang mga sarili sa panahon ng sakuna at pangangailangan,” he added.
The BSP survey showed that although more Filipinos may own financial accounts and invest, fewer Filipinos had savings and insurance in 2021. Based on the survey, the share of adults with savings fell to 37% in 2021 from 53% in 2019, while the share of adults with insurance declined to 17% in 2021 from 23% in 2019.
Such a finding is consistent with the 4.6% year-on-year contraction of the total number of estimated insured lives by microinsurance products from 46.97 million as of the first quarter of 2021 to 44.81 million as of the first quarter of 2022 as per data from the Insurance Commission. The same survey indicated that borrowing was the main coping mechanism of Filipinos across all financial needs, followed by use of savings and income.
“These results suggest that given their limited income and credit, many Filipinos are still delaying or depleting savings, mismanaging credit, or defaulting on their debts, bypassing legitimate investment opportunities or falling victim to investment scams or taking out ‘buy now, pay later’ loans from unregulated lending companies, often with high-interest rates.
Unfortunately, most of these affected Filipino households are also the same ones seeking government aid,” Gatchalian said.
Gatchalian has also filed last year a proposed legislation, Senate Bill 479, that will require teaching financial literacy in elementary, secondary, and tertiary levels, including technical-vocational institutions.