BDO Foundation, BSP, & AFP unite for financial education

2019 September – BDO Foundation has taken a bigger role in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Transformation Roadmap by bringing financial education to AFP’s uniformed and civilian personnel, which to date total more than 140,000.


The AFP Transformation Roadmap seeks to create a world-class armed forces by 2028 and considers financial wellness as one of the cornerstones of the personal scorecards of the AFP personnel.


In a signed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of BDO Unibank, Inc., in collaboration with the AFP and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), is set to develop relatable financial education tools, such as videos and discussion guides, to help the AFP personnel achieve personal financial freedom through lessons on saving, prudent spending, investing, managing debt, and avoiding scams, which will be embedded and delivered in a sustained manner through regular AFP capacity-building programs.


“Alongside professional development and physical wellness, financial heath is one of the cornerstones of an effective workforce,” BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said. “Mahalaga na maging panatag ang bawat miyembro ng Armed Forces sa aspetong pampinansiyal, sapagkat sa kanila nakasalalay ang makabuluhang tungkulin na mapanatili ang kapayapaan at seguridad ng ating bansang Pilipinas,” he added.


BDO Foundation has already developed financial education videos and other tools for the Philippine Army, a branch of the AFP, following a separate Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). With the MOA in place, the AFP’s two other branches, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) and Philippine Navy (PN), stand to benefit from the same, but expanded, program.


Beneficiaries to partners, to owners

BDO Foundation president Mario Deriquito said collaboration is a more effective, more strategic way for CSR to move forward in the future. Collaboration as a CSR approach means that the “beneficiaries” stop being such. They are no longer passive recipients of aid and blessings. Instead, they become, first, partners in the study, crafting, and then implementing the CSR program.


Then, later on, when they’ve mastered the program and acquired the know-how, materials, and resources needed to implement it, they become the program’s co-owners. This enables them to pass on the programs to more people in their community or sector so that they, too, would benefit.


“It’s about paying it forward. It’s about creating a ripple effect, a movement for long-term beneficial change and development. That’s because a sector is no longer passively holding their hands out for help, but are now enabled and have acquired the capacity to help themselves and those like them,” Deriquito explained.


Showing the way


Deriquito, who also happens to be the Chairman of the League of Corporate Foundations (LCF), said the LCF encourages its members (some 93 corporate foundations) to pool resources, share expertise, and work directly with people on the ground. It’s time for corporations to adopt similar collaborative efforts for CSR programs.


“CSR is something that a business should do, not only because it is a nice-to-have. Corporations, because they influence and affect many aspects of our lives, have the opportunity and responsibility to contribute to national development. This means going above and beyond the development contribution that arises directly from doing business,” he added.


Collaborations that have a direct, capacity-building effect on people comprise an effective, sustainable approach for CSR. Ultimately, it boosts national development. Hopefully, more corporations and foundations engage in similar endeavors.


The MOA-signing was led by BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno (front row, 3rd from left); AFP Inspector General Lt. General Antonio Ramon A. Lim (4th), representing AFP Chief-of-Staff, General Benjamin R. Madrigal Jr.; and BDO Foundation President, Mr. Mario A. Deriquito (5th). They were joined by AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel BGen. Adriano Perez Jr. (front row, leftmost); BDO President & Chief Executive Officer and BDO Foundation Trustee Nestor V. Tan (2nd); and BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi G. Fonacier (6th). The MOA will bring financial education to AFP uniformed and civilian personnel.


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