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Financial individual financial well-being. According to Keith

Financial literacy is more crucial than
ever in today’s world. It does not only affect individual well- being but also
affect and create a great impact on a larger scale, the economic development
and growth of an entire country.

 Due
to low level of financial literacy amongst citizens, governments from all over
the world have expressed concerns. Financial crisis have demonstrated the
potential magnitude of the consequences of a lack of financial literacy. Such
lack of financial literacy has been known widely as an aggravating factor of
financial crisis (Atkinson and Messy, 2010).

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There are various definitions of financial
literacy. One of most used definition comes from the Organization of Economic
Cooperation and Development, International Network on Financial Education.
According to OECD, INFE (2011), financial literacy is a combination of
awareness, knowledge, skill, attitude and behavior necessary to make sound
financial decisions and ultimately achieve individual financial well-being.

According to Keith Hall (2008),
financial literacy is a set of skills that allow people to manage their money
wisely. These skills include the attainment of basic numeracy in order for them
to monitor their rate of returns on savings and borrowings to be easily
compared and calculated. They also extend to financial concepts, not at least
an appreciation to trade-off between risk and return.  Being oriented to managing
money, income, saving and spending is very helpful to everyone in order to
survive in an increasingly complex financial scenario because today we are
living in an age of unheard-of debts and most of us are destined to face challenging
times financially.

            Financial
literacy matters at enormous levels. It has always been important not just to
individuals and family, financial systems but also on the larger scale, the
economy of entire country.  Hall (2008)
pointed out that being financial literate for individuals and families is being
smart with money. They recognize the idea of comprehensive financial planning
from a young age, which at later point, improve their chance of achieving their
goals like the purchase of a family home, usually by combining savings and a
sensible amount of mortgage debt, putting enough money to one side for the
education of children and, importantly, making suitable provision for old age while
those individuals and families who are bad with money will inevitably end up
with a far lower standard of living than was otherwise achievable.  Thus, individual decisions made on the
structure of savings can have importance and create impacts on future income
(Buch, 2017).

 Knowing
the importance of financial literacy to individuals and families in promoting
stable household, there is not too much to stretch to see the benefits that can flow through to
the stability and efficiency of the financial system. In a society that is financially
educated, financial inclusion, which means that individuals and businesses have
access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their
needs- payments, transactions, credit, savings and insurance- delivered  in a sustainable way  (Word Bank, 2017) exist. By facilitating
growth, financial inclusion promotes financial stability (Ogunleye, 2009). In
ensuring inclusion as financial sector development drives economic growth by
mobilizing savings and investment in the productive sector, financial inclusion
is important (Johnson and Lazarawa (2009). According to Levine (2005),
institutional infrastructure that financial system afford contributes to a
reduction in information and transaction cost as well as indirectly enables,
promote pro-poor, lowering of poverty and lessen income inequality which in
turn accelerates economic growth. In a wider scale, through value creation of
small businesses with positive spill-over effects on improvements in human
development indicators such as education, health and nutrition and reduction in
inequality and poverty, financial inclusion contributes to economic growth and
development (Obstfield, 1994) and (Ghali, 1999).  Essentially, financial inclusion is complementary to economic
growth as the two contribute toward poverty alleviation.         

Philippines
is one of the fast-growing economies in the world today in a way that people
has a chance to have more power in financial than before. The Philippines had
built enhancement in financial system through its financial advocacy programs
and education to private and public sectors. The World Bank (2014) research
study has estimated 20 million of Filipinos does saving money but half of it
has their own bank account.  According to
Asian Development Bank (2015), it was found out the Philippines does not
perform any national strategy in financial literacy and education. The
Financial service of the Philippines had widen because of the national strategy
that was released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas last 2016. Only 25% of the
Filipinos according to the Standard & Poor’s ratings are financially
literate which mean approximately 75 million have no idea about bank savings,
insurance, risk diversification, inflation and compound interest.

The
OECD (2009) provides an institutional framework for an on-going dialogue
between different policy communities, focusing on areas where it has
leadership, such as transparency, corporate governance, competition, tax,
pensions, and financial education, as well as the interaction of policy with
institutional and market structures and the overall consistency and efficiency
of reforms. They help in strengthening the principle in financing system and guideline
for regulatory purposes and avoiding regulatory gaps. To strengthen it is to
review for it to improve the national policies and helps in coordinating a
better policy in an international level. OECD’s helps in sustaining the need to
improvise and innovates in one’s country policy making, open markets,
employment, and they also monitor or regulate the development on country’s
sustainable growth because they believe that a key contribution will be
forward-looking analysis and guidance to ensure a healthy balance between
governments and markets, and to define exit strategies for governments to
withdraw their intervention in the private sector.

On
the other hand, the Philippines does not have any national strategy due to its
lack of financial education. Financial literacy does not have a great impact in
the Philippines which makes a very difficult to so such financial planning. The
Philippines has low saving rates. According to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas,
about 36 million of Filipinos that has bank account, 23 million of it have only
P5,000 below balances. Filipinos are not also fun of investing their money
that’s why the development of the financial system in the Philippines is low.
Ten percent of Filipinos are ready for their retirement and end up relying
their expenditures to their children. Social Security System pointed out that
over 70% of Filipinos who are retired are supported by their children.  In terms of financial planning, the
Philippines does differently than the other country due to its culture and
behavior.

            Various initiatives take place to
improve financial literacy of the Philippines. The
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas ensures a safe and strong banking and payment
system. They strive to educate and protect their clients for them to be
well-informed about the effectives of monetary policy.  In initiating, planning, executing and helping
encouraging Filipinos to have more idea and widens their knowledge in financial
literacy is one way of National Economic and Development Authority improve
financial literacy. By this act of plan could lead the local government units
(LGU), corporation owned by the government, institution of education could
adopt. Republic Act No. 10922 also known as Economic and Financial
Literacy Act, proclaims on its second week of November of every year shall have
an activity “Economic and Financial Literacy Week.” By this, those financially
literate person would gather and share ideas about how could they improve their
economy and financial education. This act encourages the Department of
Education of having economic and financial education as part of formal
learning.  House Bill 490 which is “Angat Pilipnas
and the Financial Literacy Act for Students” which encourages every Filipino to
raise the level of their financial literacy and seek ideas about financial
options. This act is form of Angat Pilipinas Coalition, a global non-profit
organization. This act encourages people to let their knowledge about financial
literacy will be widen and develop more information. By this act, it helps
schools and public learning in the Philippines to have a course of financial
education.

Aside
from knowing more about financial literacy and to impart knowledge about it,
the researchers have chosen to study the financial literacy of Pru Life UK agents
and Qualfon employees because they are two of the big companies in today’s
generation. PruLife UK provides insurance and they give information on
financial decisions and making sure that every clients they would have will be
insured in whatever problems that may happen. This company is one of the
biggest insurance company which they let people to be financially literate by
providing stages on what to do by being insured by their company. Also, Qualfon
is a business process outsourcing company in Cebu, they relate to this
financial world because if they have the highest percentage of calls they can
have the highest profit that they base on the statistics, if they have a low
percentage of calls and also for negative comments, the profit goes down. So
these companies may differ in ways of financial literacy but they have the same
aspect, to be the leading business and provide financial literacy and to make
people be knowledgeable to the business world.

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