BDO Foundation, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm of BDO Unibank, Inc. has partnered with the National University (NU) to further bring financial education to Filipino farmers nationwide.
NU, in a recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with BDO Foundation, has agreed to develop simple accounting and bookkeeping modules for farmers. NU faculty members will then use these modules to train the farmers in communities to be identified by the Foundation.
“Countless farmers still experience financial hardship partly because they lack financial education. They are skilled in crop production but they are not able to grow their business because they don’t know much about the financial side of farming. They do not know how to budget or differentiate between disposable income and what should be plowed back to production. Because of this, they are always in need of fresh funds and become victims of predatory lending,” BDO Foundation president Mario A. Deriquito said.
“With the help of NU, farmers will learn simple accounting, bookkeeping, and even budgeting and financial planning,” Mr. Deriquito added.
Through this partnership, BDO Foundation hopes to give local farmers the opportunity to grow their business, alleviate themselves from poverty, and most of all improve financial literacy and inclusion in the country.
“This collaboration is meant to further develop the education that we provide our students, as it cuts across not just academics, but also research, and community engagement,” NU President Renato Carlos H. Ermita Jr., for his part, said.
Selected senior students from NU’s College of Business and Accountancy will likewise be involved in the program, as observers during the training, and as researchers, who will monitor the progress of the farmers and the effectiveness of the training.
“We are very excited with this partnership because it does not only allow us to apply our academic theories in the real world; it also helps us develop our students into well-rounded individuals. It teaches them the value of helping their fellow Filipinos,” NU Vice President for Academics Rachel Roxas added.
Moving forward, BDO Foundation and NU will also collaborate on other projects such a capacity-building program for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in coordination with BDO subsidiary One Network Bank, a research project to support the Foundation’s financial education for public schools, and other similar initiatives.