COVID-19

How OFWs and business owners can pursue their financial goals despite the coronavirus

How OFWs and business owners can pursue their financial goals despite the coronavirus
From financial literacy webinars to digital tools, Sun Life’s Rise Together to a Bright New World campaign aims to help Filipinos recover from the impact of the pandemic

With the general community quarantine now in place, employees are slowly returning to work as businesses start to reopen; but layoffs just keep coming.

Last May 20, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) estimated that around 4 to 5 million Filipinos will be unemployed because of the coronavirus. As we see more big companies cut jobs, we can’t help but wonder what will become of all the overseas Filipino workers’ (OFWs) piling debts and the small businesses struggling to pay their bills.

This is what Sun Life of Canada (Philippines), Inc. (Sun Life), one of the largest and most trusted insurers in the Philippines, wanted to address during the virtual launch of its newest campaign called, “Rise Together to a Bright New World” last June 24.

“The Sun Life Rise Together campaign was created to inspire Filipinos to pull through and turn anxiety to action while working together to a bright new world,” said Mylene Lopa, Sun Life’s Chief Marketing and Client Officer.

Together with Benedict Sison, Sun Life’s CEO and Country Head and Cary Casipit, Marketing Business Support Head, they shared insights and tools that can help Filipinos pursue their financial goals despite the pandemic.

According to a survey conducted by Sun Life last May, 48% of its clients said their finances were severely affected by the pandemic. These statistics urged the global financial services company to take a closer look at two of the most heavily impacted sectors – the OFWs and the business owners.

Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are considered to be vulnerable as they manage two kinds of crises. The one at home as they try to ensure their family’s necessities are met and the other in their businesses as they try to look after the welfare of their employees.

Among the issues and challenges entrepreneurs mentioned in the survey are business continuity and succession planning, personal versus business goals, and looking after their employees’ welfare and well-being.

Sun Life aims to help businesses overcome these challenges through the Sun Future-proof program. With approximately 70% of firms in the Philippines sold or liquidated after the retirement or death of its respective founders, Casipit said that business owners should start taking a look at their continuity plans. For him, this is important to prevent and properly deal with potential threats to their businesses.

The Sun Future-proof program provides business owners with a specialized advisor learning program on family business governance. It also offers a wide range of forums and webinars to help them future-proof both their personal and business goals. The personal program highlights income protection, health, child’s education, retirement, and wealth preservation and transfer. While the business program covers buy-sell agreements, business debt cover, keyman insurance, and employee physical and financial fitness program.

Meanwhile, Shine Pinoy Overseas Home for Good program aims to help OFWs come home for good. Sun Life’s Shine Camp program targets financial advisors so they can provide better service and help educate OFWs on how they can leverage Sun Life’s different financial products and services. The Shine Pinoy Overseas Home for Good program will also run a campaign called Sun Talks, where industry experts will conduct financial literacy seminars and share their expertise to enable OFWs make sound money decisions.

“The ultimate goal of an OFW is to return and stay home for good; and as a financial institution, we want to help them save up so they can do this in the future,” said Casipit.

With 10 million overseas Filipinos working in almost 200 countries, Sun Life also aims to help them and their families manage their finances so they can be better prepared for a similar crisis as the pandemic.

“In this time, we continue to evolve and offer the best that we can to our clients. This enables us to serve more and do our part in securing people’s future,” said Sison.

Know more about the Sun Future-proof program, Shine Pinoy Overseas Home for Good, and other upcoming events Sun Life will be hosting by checking out their Facebook page. – Rappler.com

Sun Talks episodes are now available on Sun Life’s website. Check out their virtual library here.