Insurance groups team up to boost financial literacy among Filipino youth

The youth has an important role in national development in the long term. Thus, financial literacy should be instilled in them even at their young age. This is the message of two major groups of life insurers, which are kicking off “Life Insurance Consciousness Week” to be observed in the first week of October.

The Philippine Life Insurance Association (PLIA) has signed a pact with Japan-based Foundation for the Advancement of Life and Insurance around the World (FALIA) to further boost the country’s financial literacy through targeting high school students. It is also aimed at correcting the common misconception especially among young people that life insurance is only for the old.

“One of the reasons why insurance penetration rate in the Philippines remains quite low is because financial literacy is not really taught in schools,” said PLIA President Gregorio Mercado. “Teaching Filipinos how to manage their finances better with the help of different instruments such as life insurance will certainly boost our economy,” he added.

Filipinos’ financial literacy
Insurance Commissioner Emmanuel Dooc thinks that financial literacy rate is low not just among children but also among adults. “We have a very young population. More than 50% are in the age range from 0 to 30 years old,” he said during a program to launch the insurers’ partnership. “Thus, we must start them young so that when they grow older, they are already ‘financially literate.’”

PLIA’s team up with FALIA is one of the major highlights of the annual ‘Life Insurance Consciousness Week.’ The two organizations will jointly hold a series of lectures and other related activities in various public and private high schools nationwide.

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PLIA and FALIA ink a partnership deal to bolster financial literacy in the Philippines. In photo (from left): FALIA Director Yoshitaka Masai, Insurance Commissioner Emmanuel Dooc, PLIA President Gregorio Mercado, and FALIA Managing Director Toru Magashima 

Engaging activities
Those sessions will focus on the importance of financial planning and investing in life insurance in improving quality of life and building the nation. At the same time, they are launching an essay-writing competition for students in 34 top senior high schools across the country (15 of which are from Metro Manila). Entries will be accepted until December.

The top three writers of the best essays will bag all-expense paid trips to Japan. Students authoring the other best essays can bring home up to P30,000 in cash. Obviously, the aim is to generate awareness about financial responsibility among young people.

Students from other schools (those not included in the 34 institutions to be announced soon) can still participate in an online social media contest. Dubbed as #Lifegoals, the Facebook-based competition calls on interested participants to share how they think life insurance can help them eventually achieve their goals and aspirations. Instant prizes will be given away. At the same time, PLIA’s Facebook page will share financial literacy lessons through tips and insights about being always prepared financially.

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Financial literacy in schools
On top of these activities, PLIA is also set to launch its Financial Education Curriculum that is designed specifically for secondary schools in the country. The program will be accessible through a special online portal. It will cover helpful topics like identifying financial needs and determining which financial products could be the most appropriate for particular situations, considering factors like costs. The program will also target parents and teachers.

“This is an opportune time because of the increase in number of years in schools through the government’s K to 12 program,” said Mercado. “The curriculum could be included as subjects in the additional two years of schooling.”

“In Japan, there is a financial literacy course that has already been included in our curriculum for 20 years now,” shared FALIA Director Yoshitaka Masai. PLIA and FALIA both hope they can earn the support and cooperation of the Department of Education to make this also happen in the Philippines.

Visit plia.org.ph and LIKE the Philippine Life Insurance Association’s Facebook page to learn more about this year’s activities for the ‘Life Insurance Consciousness Week.’

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