CEBU CITY - Financial education is deemed necessary for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) nowadays in the wake of the looming global economic meltdown, officials from a marketing group said. Jose Enrique de las Peñas, Interna-tional Marketing Group (IMG) president, said he believes that financial education, especially among OFWs that are lucky to still have jobs abroad, helps them offset the fears brought about by the ongoing financial crisis.
"What OFWs and Filipinos, in general, need right now is financial education. They have to increase their knowledge on the right way of savings and on how to take care of their finances and reduce the risk of losing what they have," he said. De las Peñas underscored the huge significance of financial education for Filipinos, "where everyone seems to be in fear of the negative prospects of the future."
IMG, a marketing company dedi-cated to serving the financial needs of individuals, has close to 20,000 OFW members nationwide who have availed themselves of their free financial educa-tion seminars. Majority of these OFWs are working in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Middle East and Europe. IMG Chief Executive Officer Noel Arandilla said the common miscon-ception of financial education is that it should only be limited to the elite or the well-educated.
"Everyone has their equal rights to be wealthy but the masses are afraid to go out of their comfort zones and be edu-cated on how to increase their finances. The lack of education is keeping some of us unequipped to the possible effects of the crisis," Arandilla said. IMG seminars, facilitated by their own financial advisers, are now starting to at-tract people from different professions including doctors, engineers, teachers, factory and office workers, among oth-ers, Arandilla noted.
"A lot of businesses are already facing fears and signs that their companies might not survive the crisis. They ask our help to educate them and help them build their financial foundation," said De Las Peñas, adding a significant interest among cor-porations seeking their advice. He said that at the height of today's financial turmoil, many companies from industries such as information technolo-gy, electronics and education have sought their financial guidance as these sectors have been hit hard by the crisis.
"Fear of the uncertainty of the econ-omy could be battled through financial education. With this, you can take posi-tive, proactive and informative actions and will not be in a panic mode wherein you cannot do right decisions," De las Peñas said.