The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Fish Right Program of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and BDO Foundation have collaborated for the development of an innovative training intervention designed to help improve the financial literacy of more than 1.9 million fishers across the country.
In commemoration of Farmers’ and Fisherfolk’s Month this May and in support of the Department of Agriculture’s mission to achieve Masaganang Ani at Mataas na Kita, the partners launched Fish N’ LEarn in an event organized by BFAR as part of the financial education program for fisherfolk, the partnership project of the aforementioned organizations.
The event was led by BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno, BSP Economic and Financial Learning Office Director Maria Farah Angka, BFAR Director Eduardo Gongona, USAID Fish Right Chief of Party Nygiel Armada, and BDO Foundation President Mario Deriquito.
Lauding the partnership of government agencies, non-governmental organizations and the private sector to enhance the economic well-being of underserved sectors of society, Deriquito remarked, “Sana po ay maipalaganap natin sa mga mangingisda at kanilang mga pamilya ang wastong paghawak ng pera. Gamit ang game kits na ipinagkakaloob natin sa BFAR, inaasahan po namin na maraming mangingisda ang maaabot nito sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng ating bansa. Sa ngalan po ng BDO Foundation, nais kong magpasalamat sa ating mga kabalikat sa proyektong ito na Fish N’ LEarn.”
Co-developed by BSP, BFAR, USAID Fish Right and BDO Foundation, Fish N’ LEarn is a game that makes financial literacy lessons engaging for fishers and their families. Through the game, beneficiaries are expected to learn lessons on saving, budgeting, financial planning, expanding sources of income, debt management, entrepreneurship and insurance. Also embedded in the teaching tool are ways the target audience can conserve their source of livelihood by preventing the depletion of marine resources.
The launch of Fish N’ LEarn was highlighted by the ceremonial turn over of 110 game kits to leaders of fishing communities.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, fisherfolk leader Rodolfo Rondon graciously welcomed efforts to support the financial future of Filipino fishers: “Kami po ay buong pusong nagpapasalamat sa inyong walang sawang pagtulong para maiangat ang kabuhayan ng sektor ng mangingisda. Umasa po kayo na ang inyong tulong ay hindi namin sasayangin. Ito’y aming mamahalin.”
Tomas Payumo, who heads a group of fishers in Pampanga, added, “Sa BSP, BFAR, USAID, at BDO Foundation, marami pong salamat sa suporta ninyo sa mga mangingisda.”
Supportive of BSP’s National Strategy for Financial Inclusion, the financial education program for fisherfolk complements existing initiatives of the Department of Agriculture that help improve the financial literacy, productivity and income-generating capability of fishers. The initiatives help beneficiaries break the cycle of poverty and contribute to the government’s efforts to support low-income households.