A new government ruling means Filipino migrant workers are now required to attend a compulsory financial literacy seminar before they head overseas.

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has launched the Pinansyal na Talino at Kaalam (PiTaKa) program that will be part of the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar and Post-Arrival Orientation Seminar of Filipino migrant workers, GMA News reported.

Under the program, Filipino migrant workers will be educated on managing their finances better, especially once they start working overseas. The program aims to help Filipinos to save enough money until they eventually decide to establish their own businesses in the Philippines or abroad.

OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said the program will help ensure that Filipino migrant workers have “better financial behavior”. According to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr., 35.5% of Filipino workers set aside their remittances as savings. Of that number, 5% invest their money in financial instruments.

“As remittances consistently account for 10% of the Philippines’ gross domestic product, Filipino migrant workers are indeed modern-day heroes. Yet, we continue to hear stories of Filipinos facing financial struggles,” Espenilla said.

The program is spearheaded by the BSP in partnership with OWWA and the BDO Foundation.