MANILA, Philippines – PESO Sense has launched a mobile application to help overseas Filipinos and their beneficiaries maximize their entrepreneurial potentials.
A press statement on the launch on Friday, August 28, described PESO Sense Mobile Application as a “free platform for selling and marketing local products in the Philippines” in and out of the country.
The mobile app, which can be downloaded on the Google Playstore for Android phones and will be available for iOS users by early October, will also allow overseas Filipinos to directly pay and monitor household expenses of their families in the Philippines.
“Remittances, having great geographical dispersion in private, public and capital flows, can simulate development in areas that are lagging economic development,” said Titon Mitra, country director of UNDP Philippines.
“But the huge potential of remittances is very much constrained by one key factor: financial illiteracy,” Mitra added.
The PESO Sense campaign was created in 2013 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), and is funded by The Western Union Foundation. Also known as The Philippine Financial Freedom Campaign, it aims to improve financial literacy of overseas Filipino workers.
Mitra said the UNDP wants to affect behavioral change among the senders and recipients of remittances – from being spenders to being “savers and savvy investors.” The mobile app will include several features to help OFWs and their beneficiaries achieve this.
PESO Sense Store will allow entrepreneurs to market their products to consumers at home and abroad, whilePESO Sense Bills will allow users to directly pay household utilities, medical and tuition fees in selected schools and hospitals nationwide.
Payments to the Social Security System, PhilHealth, Pag-ibig Fund and National Bureau of Investigation can also be made on the app.
Users can also read free financial and entrepreneurial trips, trivia and articles based on their personal profile through the PESO Sense News Feeds, as well as track, record, and monitor the remittances they send back to their families through the PESO Sense Remittance Diary.
“We find it fitting and proper to launch a mobile application that we hope could make a difference not only in the lives of our overseas Filipinos but also for the families they have left behind,” said Secretary and CFO Chairperson Imelda Nicolas.
In the first 4 months of 2015, personal remittances totaled $8.6 billion, said Nicolas, citing the latest data from Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas. This is 5.1% higher than the level recorded in the same period last year, she added.
“We can certainly celebrate the fact that in the Philippines, remittances equal approximately 10% of the GDP,” said Mitra. “But if this wealth is not effectively utilized, we really are underexploiting the constitution remittances available to people’s prosperity in and out of the country.”
With the launch of the PESO Sense app, the CFO, UNDP, and Western Union hope to reach a wider audience and thus expand financial literacy.
“Being financially literate is not just about saving,” Patricia Riingen, senior vice president for East and South Asia at Western Union, said at the launch’s closing remarks. “It means making the most out of your money, inspiring individual innovation, and entrepreneurship.” – Rappler.com
Kimberly Go is a Rappler intern
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