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A good habit to develop

The Philippines is said to have one of the lowest savings rates in Southeast Asia. And according to a survey conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, only one in four households has savings.

Meanwhile, the World Bank has said in another survey in the Philippines that most Filipino families’ incomes were eaten up by basic necessities, thus representing a significant hurdle in the amount of savings Filipino families can set aside.

According to the World Bank, respondents of the survey who were financially literate, or who were familiar with basic terms like interest rates, purpose of insurance, and risk diversification, were found to be more responsible with their finances.

World Bank said that policymakers should focus on financial literacy education and come up with interventions such as getting financial literacy into the basic education curriculum.

Thankfully, there are companies like Cebuana Lhuillier who have made it their mission to teach Filipinos the benefits of saving money and how a micro savings product can help them secure and grow their savings, little by little, towards becoming financially independent in the future.

As part of its mission, the company has empowered its 8,000-strong workforce to become “iponaryo” ambassadors, visiting far-flung communities, schools and workplaces to teach and show Filipinos how to manage their spending, save money, keep them in a micro-savings account, not in the usual alkansya.

In more than 500 iponaryo sessions conducted nationwide so far, attendees are encouraged to take on the P50 iponaryo challenge by depositing P50 directly into a micro-savings account as frequently as possible with the aim of growing it to P50,000.

Cebuana Lhullier Rural Bank has an interest-bearing deposit product with low initial deposit and no maintaining balance. The product is being carried by Cebuana Lhullier Pawnshop as cash agent. Cebuana Lhullier Micro Savings is currently available in close to 2,500 branches nationwide.

With more than 2.5 million new micro-savings accounts already generated, Cebuana Lhuillier is finally giving millions of unbanked Filipinos the opportunity to safely grow their hard-earned money.