More than 90,000 soldiers and over a thousand civilian employees of the army stand to benefit from a financial literacy program launched recently by BDO Foundation in partnership with the Philippine Army and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). The tripartite initiative was officially unveiled in an event led by the foundation’s board of trustees, Philippine Army vice commander Maj. Gen. Robert Arevalo and BSP deputy governor Chuchi Fonacier.
The financial literacy program for the Philippine Army is in line with the financial inclusion advocacy of BDO Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of BDO Unibank. It contributes to the implementation of BSP’s National Strategy for Financial Inclusion, particularly the pillar on Financial Education and Consumer Protection.
It aims to share lessons on financial responsibility with officers, soldiers, their families and civilian personnel of the army.
The project is supportive of the Army Transformation Roadmap (ATR), a long-term program designed to strengthen and professionalize the Philippine Army and enable it to accomplish its mission of serving Filipinos and securing the country. Among the ATR’s goals is to help soldiers make sound financial decisions.
According to BDO Foundation president Mario Deriquito, “This corporate citizenship program is our modest contribution to the ATR and efforts to develop a world-class army. Our goal is to help soldiers get high marks in their scorecards, particularly on the aspect of personal finance.”
“Together with the Philippine Army and BSP, we are finding ways to equip our troops with the tools, knowledge and resources to achieve financial independence. Through this program, we hope to promote financial inclusion, contribute to the development of a financially literate citizenry and support our armed forces.”
At the launch, three financial education videos were presented to members of the Philippine Army’s Conference Group Alpha and Charlie. Produced by BDO Foundation in collaboration with the army and BSP, the videos were developed for new recruits, newly promoted officers, senior officers, civilian personnel and their families. The clips covered lessons on saving, budgeting, loans, debt management, entrepreneurship, investing and retirement planning.
The instructional videos will be used together with discussion guides that will be developed by the partners. As part of the nationwide deployment of the program, BSP will help facilitate the training of an estimated 120 trainers from the Philippine Army, who will serve as resource persons and subject matter experts.