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Inculcating the Value of Regular Savings: An Approach to Secure Investments
To encourage OFWs to save and invest was one of the main goals of the financial literacies and orientations of the Pinoywise movement that we conducted last year. We endorsed Save Before You Spend” and introduced the formula of saving 10% of income if possible. To materialize the said objective and verify the outcome of the value formation, we motivated our fellow OFWs to enroll in a cooperative, the trusted and the number 1 agri-based cooperative in the Philippines, the SIDC ( Sorosoro Ibaba Development Cooperative) which is in Batangas. We also promoted its concrete investment package that provides savings window for OFWS, the SIDC EGG LAYER FARM. This is an investment with a minimum of Php 100,000 in SIDC Egg Layer Farm Project payable in One Year or more depending on the financial capacities.
The first step we did was to teach the migrant workers to set goals, which are to save something from their monthly salaries and invest it. It’s not enough to save. We taught the principle “Let your money works for you”. It’s more productive if the saved money grows. Many tried to practice the said principle to achieve their goal of saving. In fact, in Turin alone, for the period 15 months, we were able to facilitate the enrolment of almost 80 OFWs and around 25% have already attained their 100k and secured their investment certificates.
Our objective is not only to enroll in an investment package we also ensure that they are committed to achieve their financial goals, and so we monitored their savings habit and performance.
Monitoring was a fulfilling work for me ‘cause I’ve realized how much effort they’ve bestowed just to reach their plans. We encouraged them to save regularly. For many, it became part of their system to give every month like a “paluwagan”, while for others, they still find it difficult to allocate a percentage of their salary for savings and investment.
How did we inculcate the value of regular savings? Being in-charge here in Turin, I made a master list of members who have enrolled & invested in the cooperative . I used the social network by creating a Group page in Facebook of all SIDC members and investors to provide regular communication and disseminate information. In the said group page, I announced the members who have finally completed his investment package of 100k to encourage others to do the same.
Aside from the social network, I kept on reminding them every month specifically a week before pay day through text/messages in their cellphone for their savings and I, being the assigned collector, am the one collecting them. They only pay 1euro bank charge instead of €5 ‘coz the remittance is done in group.
After having deposited, I’ll notify online the office of SIDC on the breakdown of the remittance for them to update the virtual bank account of the members. After I’ve received a notice from SIDC that everything is posted accordingly, I notify the members to let them verify their savings in the web site of Pinoywise through the given password and username. In this endeavor, trust & confidence of the members towards the collectors should be preserved and maintained to be able to fully achieved the purpose of PINOYWISE campaign.
My involvement in this campaign is a volunteer work and unlike other financial institutions, it doesn’t provide tempting commission, ample incentives and generous allowance. What made me invest my energy, time, effort and name on this project was my conviction, advocacy and trust to this initiative and the people working behind it. I am convinced of its positive impact in my life in particular and so with the lives of other OFWs in Turin. It is fulfilling on my part that the strategies that we introduced for regular savings encourage them to continue investing.