Visa PH program to teach Pinoy kids how to save, avoid online fraud

By Espie Angelica A. de Leon

Visa Philippines has launched its first “Financial Literacy Program” in the country to educate Filipino youths on saving and budgeting their money and help prevent them from falling prey to online frauds and scams.

Visa Philippines head for sales Dan Wolbert (3rd from right) with (from left) Tanghalang Pilipino president Jolly Gomez, Tanghalang Pilipino artistic director Nanding Josef, BSP head of inclusive finance advocacy Pia Roman-Tayug, Teach for the Philippines chief strategy officer Patricia Lim-Feria, and panel discussion moderator Salve Duplito

Visa Philippines head for sales Dan Wolbert (3rd from right) with (from left) Tanghalang Pilipino president Jolly Gomez, Tanghalang Pilipino artistic director Nanding Josef, BSP head of inclusive finance advocacy Pia Roman-Tayug, Teach for the Philippines chief strategy officer Patricia Lim-Feria, and panel discussion moderator Salve Duplito

Held at the Tanghalang Huseng Batute of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) on October 2, the program was officially unveiled via a fun and interactive skit staged by CCP’s Tanghalang Pilipino.

The skit, titled “Lukot-Lukot, Bilog-Bilog,” was preceded by a panel discussion among key executives of Visa Philippines and its program partners Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Teach for the Philippines, and Tanghalang Pilipino. The program is in support of the government’s National Strategy for Financial Inclusion spearheaded by BSP.

In the skit, the main protagonist Gwyneth is faced with common scenarios where she is tempted to buy something she fancies such as a trendy dress at a time when she needs the money for something more important, such as an application for college.

“We see a high percentage of the population that are millennials,” said Dan Wolbert, head of sales for Visa Philippines, subsidiary of global leader in digital payments Visa Inc.

“In the coming years, we’re going to see more and more new entrants to the workforce and they’re going to face with a number of new and interesting complex challenges — how they manage their money, how they choose to save, how they choose to invest.”

He added that by the time these millennials receive their first paycheck, it could be a little late in educating them on how to manage their finances wisely and make smart decisions when purchasing.

“That is why we are very interested in starting that with a younger demographic,” he said.

BSP head of inclusive finance advocacy Pia Roman-Tayug added that financial services are now very accessible online and many digital natives are used to it. However, frauds and scams lurk in the Internet.

“If you’re financially literate and you also know what your consumer rights and responsibilities are, you are less likely to fall victim to these frauds and scams,” she said.

Visa and its partners are set to mount the play, which features national heroes Jose Rizal and Apolinario Mabini as Gwyneth’s “financial advisors,” in close to 10 schools this October to bring financial literacy to more Filipino students.

“By presenting economic concepts in realistic and entertaining situations, we hope that audiences will find it easier to apply their learnings in their daily lives,” said Tanghalang Pilipino artistic director Nanding Josef.

According to the World Bank’s Financial Capability Study conducted in 2015, Filipinos lack specific knowledge required for making informed decisions in connection with budgeting and saving. According to Tayug, only about 31 percent of Filipinos have an account.

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