HOUSE Senior Deputy Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand Alexander “Sandro” Marcos is proposing that employees be provided with financial literacy and entrepreneurship trainings as a way to help Filipinos cope with rising prices of basic commodities, among others.
Under House Bill (HB) 8989, or the proposed “Financial Literacy for Workers’ Act,” employers shall be required to provide financial literacy and entrepreneurship programs to employees.
Rep. Marcos explained that financial literacy and entrepreneurship programs for workers would empower them to generate more income and ultimately lead a life of economic and financial freedom. “At a time of continuously rising prices, the prevalence of financial scams, and also predatory loans, there is a need to empower employees with financial literacy programs that will include debt management, savings and investment, insurance and retirement planning, so as to avoid indigency,” he said.
According to Rep. Marcos, people who have better awareness and understanding of how money works and how to handle it responsibly, are equipped to reach their financial goals.
Under HB 8989, working entrepreneurs are defined as individuals who are employed and engaged in the operations or management of micro, small or medium enterprises. It also provides that the Secretary of the Department Labor and Employment (DOLE) would award loans and grants, on a competitive basis, to eligible entities to provide financial literacy and entrepreneurship programs to workers. The DOLE Secretary may make available to deserving working entrepreneurs, assistance in the form of grants or loans, to provide for the initial launch of their small or medium enterprises. An eligible entity or entrepreneur that desires to receive a grant or a loan should submit an application to the DOLE Secretary accompanied by an itemized budget and other data as required.
HB 8989 is now pending at the House Committee on Labor and Employment.