Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Philippines - RP Embassy in Vientiane Conducts First Financial Literacy Forum for OFWs


The Philippine Embassy in Vientiane, in cooperation with the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD-MRI) International Office in Lao PDR, organized the first Financial Literary Forum last November 7 at the Chancery.

Mr. Christian Albert Sandoval, CARD MRI’s training expert based in Cambodia, was the Embassy’s resource person. He has an extensive experience in handling training and seminars in a variety of topics particularly financial education such as budgeting and saving wisely. Mr. Sandoval was in Laos to conduct a training program for executives and personnel of Lao financial institutions and microfinance companies.

In her welcome remarks, Philippine Ambassador to Lao PDR Marilyn J. Alarilla stated that this first Financial Literacy Forum on Savings is part of the Embassy’s gender and development program. The forum was organized to reiterate to the Filipino community in Lao PDR the importance of saving for the future. Among the topics discussed were:

a) the common practices/habits that diminish their capacity to save;
b) why overseas Filipinos need to save their money; and
c) how to counter these practices/habits towards simple and doable good saving habits.

In his presentation entitled, “SAVINGS: You can do it!”, Mr. Sandoval emphasized that the forum’s objective is for participants to discover a newfound will, determination and inspiration to start a healthier and better saving practices. He stressed the need to save for future events and expenditures and to build an assets base.

r. Sandoval conducted a financial fitness test in which the participants rated themselves based on the ten questions in the lecture, which he acknowledged as part of a concept of Mr. Francisco Colayco, a well-known proponent of financial literacy for overseas Filipinos. He introduced the formula, “spend less than what you earn”, and other useful tips, advices, guides and suggestions for OFWs to be able to save and avoid unnecessary spending.

Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip, Managing Director of CARD-MRI, and spouse, Mrs. Aniceta Alip, who were traveling to Hanoi, passed by Vientiane and attended the Embassy’s forum on financial literacy. During the short address to the participants, Dr. Alip said that CARD-MRI, which is a 2008 Magsaysay Awardee for Government Service, has representations in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos and soon Kenya, where they share experience in microfinance operations.

The participants of the First Financial Literacy Forum on Savings consisted of Embassy officials and staff and their family members, local hires and members of the Filipino community, including consultants, managers and technical personnel in companies, school supervisors, and teachers. The Filipino community expressed deep appreciation to the Embassy for organizing the activity.

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