Financial literacy still needed among Filipinos

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - News - (Ferliza Calizar-contratista)

CEBU CITY - The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has stressed the need to strengthen financial advocacy among Filipinos following release of the results of latest Consumer Finance Survey (CFS).

Rosabel Guerrero, Director of the Department of Economic Statistics, said strengthening financial inclusions and advocacy should be done by both government and private sectors. This was one of the policy implications and recommendations resulting from the 2014 CFS, she said.

According to the study, only two in 10 households surveyed have bank accounts. Region 7 has the least number of households with bank accounts compared with those in the National Capital Region and areas outside the NCR.

In the Philippines, from the sample size of 18,000, majority of the households surveyed or 86 percent do not have a deposit account which means to say that only 14 percent save their money in banks, Guerrero said.

According to the survey, the foremost reason cited by households for not having a deposit account was not having enough money to keep an account. Two percent of the households said there is no need for a bank or cash account and 1.7 percent said the location of banks or financial institutions are far from their home and 1.2 percent claimed they cannot manage an account while about 1 percent complained about excessive interest rates.

And 1.6 percent cited other reasons such as high minimum maintaining balance imposed by banks while some do not like to deal with banks or do not trust financial institutions.

In Centralvisayas, it was found out that 55 percent preferred to put money in “piggy” banks when they have extra rather than putting it in banks.

With this, BSP Cebu Regional Director Atty. Leonides Sumbi suggested during the multisectoral forum for the Department of Social Welfare and Development to study the option of adding a depository feature in the Cash Card accounts of the Pantawid beneficiaries.

“We will make further financial literacy training and workshops and advocacy on them so that they will now be open to save in the conduit banks,” Sumbi said.

Land Bank of the Philippines official Malou Cardenas said they will elevate the matter to their national office.

CFS is a nationwide quadrennial survey on consumer finances among Filipino households. It generates data on the financial conditions of the households such as financial and non-financial assets, level of indebtedness and sources of credit and income, spending and insurance coverage.

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