MANILA -- Government and the private sector have joined hands to encourage more Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their families to set aside some of their earnings for savings and for investments.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier, who read the speech of Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. during the launch central bank's program for OFWs, said only 35 percent of OFW households have savings.

Of these number, only 5.1 percent of OFWs try to grow their earnings through investments while 98 percent use up the funds for food and to buy household goods.

Thus, monetary officials have partnered with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the BDO Foundation to introduce financial literacy to OFWs even before they head out overseas.

The program, dubbed Pinansyal na Talino at Kaalaman (PiTaKa) (Financial Literacy and Knowledge), aims to equip OFWs with practical knowledge in utilizing and maximizing their funds.

She said giving OFWs such know-how and by opening up an avenue for them to grow their earnings will ensure inclusive growth of the economy.

In a briefing, OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said they have observed that OFWs who can manage their incomes properly tend to be more resilient even when their employment contracts abroad end.

“People always have to be ready, prepared, so that when rainy days come. they can cope well,” he said.

Relatively, BDO Foundation President Mario Deriquito said PiTaKa is their second financial literacy program after the tie-up with BSP and the Department of Education (DepEd).

He said not everyone possesses the skills to put up an enterprise, thus, PiTaKa will allow OFWs and their families choose investments that they can understand and manage. (PNA)