The social responsibility arm of BDO Unibank Inc. led by bankero Nestor Tan has partnered with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), and BDO Foundation recently inked an agreement to develop a financial education program for credit assistance beneficiaries of around 4,000 small farmers, fisherfolk, and livestock raisers.
BDO Foundation president Mario Deriquito, BDO Foundation Trustee Lucy Co Dy, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno as well as Agriculture Secretary and ACPC Governing Council chairman William Dar signed the memorandum of agreement (MOA).
Deriquito said poverty alleviation through financial inclusion forms part of its key advocacies and contributions to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
“For giving us this opportunity to be of service to small farmers and fisherfolk, we are grateful to the BSP and ACPC. It is our hope that our partnership program will pave the way for farmers, fisherfolk, livestock raisers and their families to achieve financial stability and empower them to gain access to financial services that can help improve their lives,” Deriquito said.
Diokno said Filipino farmers and fishers remain among the poorest of the poor despite the abundance of agricultural and marine resources and their hard work and perseverance.
“The BSP and its partners will work together to empower our farmers, fishers, and livestock raisers to invest in a better financial and environmental future, by offering a solid financial literacy and education program,” Diokno said.
The outgoing BSP governor said improving financial literacy and capability in the agricultural and coastal communities contributes significantly to inclusive economic progress.
An attached agency of the DA mandated to oversee credit and rural finance policy, ACPC helps the government develop and implement strategies and policies that increase and sustain the flow of credit to agriculture and fisheries, improve the viability of farmers and fisherfolk, and support agriculture modernization, food security and poverty alleviation.
The program is the latest in a series of collaborations among the BSP, BDO Foundation, and key government agencies designed to promote financial education and consumer protection, in line with the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion (NSFI).
The initiative, intended to form part of the capacity building programs of ACPC, aims to instill basic personal financial management skills, with emphasis on agripreneurship and maintaining a good credit standing among farmers, fisherfolk, livestock raisers, young agripreneurs, and repatriated overseas Filipino workers engaged in agribusiness, through engaging and effective financial literacy modules and tools.