By Roy Mabasa
The Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah has conducted a free financial literacy seminar for overseas Filipino workers in the western region of Saudi Arabia to teach them how to better manage their scarce resources and make their money productive.
“Through this seminar, the Consulate hopes to give you additional knowledge and information to better manage your financial resources for a secure future and a happy retirement,” Philippine Consul General to Jeddah Edgar Badajos told the participating OFWs last week.
Badajos said the program is a continuation of the government’s Post Arrival Orientation series participated in by mostly Filipino nurses from various hospitals in Jeddah.
Discussed during the seminar were concepts on saving, investing, and borrowing, and shared valuable tips on achieving financial freedom such as the importance of saving before spending, decreasing expenses, involving the family in goal setting and financial planning, and proper budgeting.
Among the speakers who took part in educating the OFWs on how to manage their finances were representatives from the Social Security Services, Pag-IBIG Fund and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.
They talked about possible investment programs and options available to overseas Filipinos to assist them in achieving their financial goals.
In a study conducted by the Social Enterprise Development Partnership Inc. in 2011, it showed that one out of 10 OFWs is financially broke, and eight out of 10 of those who return to the Philippines have no savings.
SEDPI is a capacity-building institution that provides training, research and consulting services in microfinance, social entrepreneurship, and financial literacy for OFWs and local organizations in 27 countries.
It added in the study that despite working abroad for many years, few OFWs are able to save a substantial amount of income.