The NEDA Regional Office (NRO) Cordillera held its economic and financial literacy (EFL) awareness webinar in observance of the EFL Week from November 8 to 12, 2021. The webinar, with the theme “Pagbabago at Patuloy na Pag-unlad sa gitna ng Pandemya”, highlighted topics on safe and sound e-commerce and recent trends in digital payments. These were shared by Regional Director Juliet Lucas of the Department of Trade and Industy (DTI-CAR) and Atty. Maria Icel Lacambacal of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) North Luzon Office, respectively.

Regional Director Susan A. Sumbeling of NEDA-CAR shared that the EFL week intends to highlight the country’s collective long-term vision, especially at this time where there is a need to involve the citizenry in conversations redefining the Ambisyon Natin 2040 in the midst of COVID-19.

Within the backdrop of a shifting behavior in savings and consumption patterns in the region during the pandemic, Ms. Freda Toyoken of the NRO’s Policy Formulation and Planning Division shared the strategies towards a financially empowered Filipino as outlined in the updated Philippine Development Plan. She added that these remain, even with the immense changes happening now.  

Attorney Lacambacal described how the disruptive health crisis has facilitated the rise of digital payment platforms and the increasing number of users. She said that the Central Bank continues to strengthen the financial landscape with its ambitious targets toward the financial inclusion of at least 50 percent of the population by 2022.

Moreover, the e-commerce ecosystem got a boost this year considering the various factors affecting the industry based on recent studies. These include the rise of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) engaged actively in online selling, rise of internet users, the fast and competitive internet access through mobile data and fixed broadband, and the strengthened cybercrime enforcement and protection, among others.

The webinar was attended by at least 65 representatives from the local government units, the public and private sector and the academe from the six provinces in the region and Baguio City. This event was also streamed through the NRO’s Facebook page for broader audience reach.

The NEDA leads the annual observance of the Economic and Financial Literacy Week as mandated by RA 10922 also known as the EFL Act. It aims to develop a national consciousness on economic and financial literacy.