A total of 175 participants from regional line agencies, local government units, private sector, HEIs/SUCs and students participated in the Regional Forum conducted by the NEDA RO2 in celebration of the Economic and Financial Literacy Week (EFLW) on 08 November 2019 at the Valley Hotel, Tuguegarao City. The EFLW is celebrated every second week of November as mandated by Republic Act No. 10922, also known as the Economic and Financial Literacy Act, which aims to develop national consciousness on economic and financial literacy.

This year’s theme “Our planet’s health, the future’s wealth” calls for concerted efforts on harmonizing environmental protection, social inclusion, and economic growth towards building an inclusive and sustainable future for our planet.

NEDA Regional Director Dionisio C. Ledres, Jr. in his opening message emphasized the importance of managing the region’s resources. He said that the concept of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) is timely as we aspire for a healthy environment today and the future. He challenged the participants to think of simple but better ways to keep the planet healthy by adhering to proper management of wastes particularly the barring of single-use plastics.

Similarly, Atty. Maria Rosario Mamba-Villaflor, Chief of staff of the Office of the Governor, Province of Cagayan, said in her welcome message that everyone should think how we impact not just the society but the total environment. We should think how to use and prolong limited resources by being smart in our consumption practices. She emphasized that economic development must go hand-in-hand with environmental conservation and protection.

The forum served as a good venue to broaden awareness and knowledge of the participants on the major topics and best practices presented to include the concept as well as the framework of sustainable consumption and production (SCP) and some best practices/initiatives on SCP shared by Ms. Mary Descery Joy B. Bongcac of NEDA-ANRES, Ms. Melody N. Melo-Rijk of World Wildlife Fund Philippines, Ms. Linda C. Tan of DTI RO2 and Ms. Estrella A. Pasion of the Provincial Government of Quirino.

Moreover, topics on investment scams, time deposits and the rural banks’ role in countryside development were also presented by Mr. Dante T. Cambri of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas-Tuguegarao Branch, Atty. Robin James Gunnacao of Cooperative Bank of Cagayan and Mr. Ronald C. Busto of the First Isabela Cooperative Bank, Inc. The resource persons from these financing institutions informed and encouraged the participants, especially the students, to start saving and investing for their future and adopt a sustainable lifestyle. Mr. Cambri of BSP also shared information on the current financial frauds and scams and shared preventive measures to avoid being a victim. The participants were reminded on the need to be financially literate and be able to determine priorities in allocating resources, and also be aware on their earning capacity as well as spending capacity.

The participants had also the chance to exchange mutilated banknotes and old low denomination coins at the Booth on Exchange Currency and Information which was set up by the BSP Tuguegarao Branch at the activity area as part of the BSP mandate to strengthen the implementation of the Clean Note and Coin Policy.