The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is the winner of the Global Forum on Remittances and Development (GFRD) Public Sector Award for 2015 in recognition of its outstanding commitment, innovation and impact in promoting remittances for social and economic development through its Economic and Financial Learning Program (BSP-EFLP).
The GFRD 2015 Awarding Ceremony, held in Milan, Italy on 18 June 2015, recognizes best practices in the field of remittances and development. The forum is organized by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD, a specialized agency of the United Nations), the World Bank, and the European Commission.
The BSP was nominated by Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) Secretary Imelda Nicolas. “The CFO believes in the significant efforts of the BSP toward harnessing remittances for the country’s economic and social development. Indeed, the CFO has witnessed BSP’s focused cooperation with other Philippine government agencies, financial institutions and NGOs in continuously conducting economic and financial education for overseas Filipinos and their families,” she said.
The EFLP is the BSP’s flagship iniative for financial inclusion that includes financial education, access to financial services and financial consumer protection. The program has been generating positive results.
In particular, BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. cited overseas Filipinos and their beneficiaries for their continuing gains in developing good money habits such as saving and investing. He said: “The BSP’s Consumer Expectation Survey in the second quarter this year indicated that there were more households that used part of their remittances for investments while allocation for savings increased to 49.7 percent from only 7.2% in the first quarter in 2007.”
A major component activity under the EFLP is the Financial Learning Campaign (FLC) for Overseas Filipinos (OFs) and their beneficiaries which is targeted specifically for remittance recipients. By highlighting the importance of using remittances to build savings and directing these to productive investments in financial instruments and business ventures, the FLC-OF aims to reinforce the positive and beneficial effects of remittances for the socio-economic well-being of the overseas Filipinos and their families. Specifically, topics discussed during FLC-OF roadshows include: (a) the importance of remittances; (b) financial planning; (c) rewards and risks associated with various financial instruments; and, (d) ways to protect remittances and savings.
The other components of the EFLP include the 1) "Be Up to Speed on BSP" - Public Information Campaign (PIC) on the Role of the BSP in the Philippine Economy, 2) Users' Forum (UF) on BSP-Produced Statistics, 3) Conference on Gearing Up for External Competitiveness, 4) Financial Education Expo for students and the workforce, 5) Financial literacy for the unbanked including recipients of the government’s conditional cash transfer program, and 6) learning events of the BSP regional offices and branches nationwide.
The implementation of various component learning programs under the EFLP has reached 80 out of 81 or 98.8 percent of the country’s provinces through more than 6,000 learning events, educating and positively affecting the lives of over 670,000 participants. A number of sessions, particularly the FLC-OF program, had also been conducted in countries with large concentration of overseas Filipinos such as Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Italy, and the United Kingdom.