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“A teacher affects eternity” – Henry Adams

I had been giving talks and seminars on financial literacy for more than a decade ago when it was still not in vibe. As a practicing planner back then, I believed that if people know more about handling their money, they would be able to secure their– and their families’ — future more. They would be less stressed about where to get their child’s tuition fee payment, the bills they have to pay, and their retirement as well.

So before all the hype, I had been going company to company, school to school, teaching about budgeting, management, and investing.

Fast forward to today, financial literacy has become a buzzword already: talks, summits, articles and programs are all over the place.  And I am happy — because more people are now becoming aware of the need to handle money wisely. But as more work in this area, there is one sector that I really wish wound know more about it: our Educators.

I personally know the struggles that a lot of teachers are in: the debts, struggling with their income and expenses, not to mention preparing for their future all the while giving themselves to their students. Not too many a teacher that I have spoken with who experience these, and not too many also retire with almost nothing to begin with. Recently, I heard of a teacher who, after 25 years in service, would be having Php 800,000 in retirement pay– Php 800,000 for 25 years of service.

Doing the math and with inflation, that money would not be able to last 10 years; after which, she might just be one of those elderly persons being passed around her children just to support her. And nobody – teachers most of all – deserve that. They have given more of their lives – sometimes, even more than their families– to their schools and their students. So they deserve nothing but the best retirement that can be offered — nothing less for the heroes who have molded us what we are today.

Teachers during the joint First Metro financial literacy forum for Pasig Diocesan School System (PaDSS) members

That is the reason why I was truly glad to know that Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP), through First Metro Asset Management has been very much active in this space. In this way, our educators can now learn more on how to have a safe and secure future through the practical and prudent financial management.

I could just imagine: all teachers, being financially literate, not being scammed. And as they are filled with knowledge, they, too would be teaching all of the students that go through them, teaching even their parents on how to budget, save money, and invest. Imagine…then in just one or two generations, we would have made financially literate citizens and a more secure future not just for their families, but for the whole nation as well.

The task is daunting, but through CEAP’s programs we hope that we are able to make waves and thus cascade practical financial knowledge to all stakeholders through our educators. That is why we believe in their centrality: the knowledge bearers, the bringer of enlightenment, and the depositary of information, to change our nation student by student, parent by parent.

Because after all, the teachers are the cornerstone with which we build our society.

This post first appeared in a CEAP Newsletter.

About the Author

Rienzie Biolena is a Senior Relationship Manager of First Metro Asset Management, Inc., managing institutional, retirement funds, and is active in giving practical literacy workshops and seminars for teachers. He can be reached through 891-2860 loc. 101 or 0920-951-9521.


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