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BFAR launches fisherfolks’ finance education program
FISHERFOLK in the country will now have the chance to improve their economic status with the launching of the financial education program which will teach them how to manage their finances.
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) National Director Eduardo Gongona said that the program targets to enroll 25,000 fisherfolk nationwide this year through the BFAR’s training programs.
“By educating fisherfolk on improving their household savings, establishing community-saving groups, proper use of loans, and availing of financial services, DA-BFAR intends to help break the vicious cycle of poverty and natural resource depletion in the sector,” Gongona said.
Aside from BFAR, other partners of the agency in the implementation of the program are the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), BDO Foundation, and the USAID’s Fish Right Program through the PATH Foundation PH Inc., and Siliman University.
“Despite the country’s rich fisheries and aquatic resources, many people belonging to the fisherfolk sector are economically challenged. That is why we continue to implement programs and projects like this to alleviate poverty in the fisheries sector,” Gongona said.
Gongona added that the program is still part of Department of Agriculture (DAR) Secretary William Dar’s twin objective of a “masaganang ani at mataas na kita” for Filipino fisherfolk.
A financial education module called “Fish N’ Learn” game was developed and trial-tested by the participating partners between 2020 and 2021.
The game, which is to be delivered in Filipino and other Philippine languages, centers on five key messages: Maging mapagkalinga sa karagatan; Mag-impok ngayon para sa kinabukasan; Magpalago ng kita sa pamamagitan ng pagnenegosyo; Magseguro para protektado; and Maging matalino sa pag-utang.
Towards the end of the game, participants are expected to learn about achieving long-term objectives through basic personal financial management skills, simple tips about earning additional income other than fishing, and the rights and responsibilities of financial consumers.
The module also incorporates topics on saving, budgeting, debt management, basic financial products (basic deposit accounts, micro-insurance), micro-entrepreneurship, and scam prevention.
The program is set for a nationwide roll-out in the coming weeks.
The BFAR and its partners will cascade the modules to fisherfolk by embedding it into their technical and regular training programs and will establish a system to measure the effect on fisherfolk’s financial behavior and to continuously improve the training programs. By Cory Martinez