Save for the rainy days and for a better future for your family.
This was the main message of the first Family Development Session TV (FDS TV) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Piipino Program (4Ps) which was launched in May and aired over the Department’s Facebook account and cross posted on the RTVM Facebook page.
The conduct of the FDS is an important aspect of 4Ps and the attendance of beneficiaries to this activity is one of the conditionalities for them to receive their cash grants.
In 2020, following the declaration of public health emergency because of the pandemic, the DSWD suspended compliance monitoring of all program conditionalities, including the attendance to the monthly conduct of the FDS.
The DSWD, however, cited that the conduct of FDS is not just a conditionality but a significant aspect of development of the beneficiaries as they are taught various life skills through this activity.
For the pilot airing of the FDS TV, the DSWD focused on financial literacy, particularly on financial planning and the importance of saving, especially in times of emergency such as this ongoing health crisis.
To give the 4Ps beneficiaries and the Facebook viewers practical tips in managing finances to include budgeting and saving, the DSWD invited two speakers who discussed the topics, “Pagpapaplanong Pinansiyal para sa Maginhawang Pamumuhay (Financial Planning for a Better Future)” and “Responsableng Pagbabadyet at Pag-iimpok para sa Kinabuksan (Responsible budgeting and saving for the future).”
Planning family finances
Financial Advisor, Vicent Catudio, who has worked with the DSWD in the development of the 4Ps Financial Literacy Module for beneficiaries discussed the importance of financial planning. He underscored the importance of planning for one’s future and in striving hard to improve one’s finances.
He said that individuals and families must be responsible and determined. Mr. Catudio said that Filipino families must think carefully and plan their finances.
The speaker said that a self-assessment can be done in order to come up with a sound financial plan. Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries must have the self-awareness on the following: source of income or livelihood; list of expenditures; current status or situation; list of debts and bills to pay; and the presence of savings.
He added that the health of the family must always be taken into consideration, as sickness in the family greatly affects their financial status.
Furthermore, Mr. Catudio said that it is important that the financial plan or the budgetary plan must be specific, measurable, agreed by all members of the family, realistic, and time bound.
Responsible budgeting and the importance of saving
Meanwhile, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Bank Officer, Sarah Padilla, shared that responsible budgeting is a process of crafting a realistic plan on how to use one’s money, and this includes the cash grants received by the 4Ps families.
She added that it might sound very technical but responsible budgeting is just the process of listing down all income, expenses, need of the families, and the financial goal. This way, the list of expenses versus income will be clearly identified.
According to her, beneficiaries must list all the family’s expenses and identify which among them are the priority. She, however, stressed the importance of being realistic in budgeting.
Ms. Padilla said that having a realistic budget plan has its positive effects as the family can avoid financial stress with all expenses and bills laid out versus the income.
She stressed the importance of doing the following tips in budgeting: expenses must not be more than the income; prioritize the needs of the family; and set aside some savings even how small it is.
Ms. Padilla emphasized the need for the budgeting process to be done by and with the family members. She added that cooperation of all the members of the family is important to achieve the goal of keeping within the budget and of savings.
Lastly, she encouraged the 4Ps beneficiaries to consider putting their savings in a bank.
Saving money is important to 4Ps families
Ruby Ann dela Cruz, a 4Ps parent leader from Bulacan, shared her journey on budgeting and savings. Ruby Ann said that growing up in a very poor family helped her to become responsible with the money that she earns. Thus, she knows that setting aside a portion of ones’ earnings no matter how small will really go a long way.
She stressed, “importante ang pag-iipon para sa ating 4Ps beneficiaries upang matulungan tayo maputol ang cycle ng kahirapan sa ating pamilya. Ayokong maranasan din ng aking anak ang kahirapang naranasan naming nuon” (Saving money is important to us 4Ps beneficiaries in order to stop the cycle of poverty within our family. I do not want my children to experience the same situation we went through before).
She added that she wants her children to finish schooling, and as such, she is already preparing for their college education.
“Bilang ina, wala akong hiniling kundi mapabuti ang kinabukasan ng aking mga anak. Kaya sinimulan ko ang pag-iipon para may magamit kami pag nagkaroon ng biglaang pagkakagastusan” (As a mother, I want nothing but the best future for my children. That is why, I started saving so that we will have money in case there are emergency expenses), Ruby Ann shared.
Ruby Ann added that she started saving in empty containers of big baby powders, and with the help of her husband, their savings grew. Ruby Ann was also able to access a savings cooperative in her municipality which was also being mainstreamed in the banking system as a savings account depositor.
The DSWD urged the beneficiaries to emulate Ruby Ann and apply the lessons that they learned on financial literacy and consider opening a savings account as their fall back in times of needs.
4Ps is the national poverty reduction strategy of the national government. It invests in the health, nutrition, and education of poor households for an improved well-being.