Abuja Seminar

30 April 2015 - The Philippine Embassy in Abuja conducted a financial literacy seminar for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), in cooperation with the Filipino Association in Lagos (FAL) at the compound of the renowned Cactus Restaurant in the fashionable district of Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria, on April 19.

The financial literacy seminar is one of the regular activities under the Post’s Gender and Development (GAD) Program in line with its advocacy of cultivating beneficial financial habits among OFWs, and formed part of the Embassy’s extended celebration of National Women’s Month. Due to the Nigerian presidential and local elections which were held in March and early April, the Philippine Embassy in Abuja had to postpone its outreach, cultural and other activities involving the Filipino community in Nigeria until after the elections.

Entrepreneurial OFWs Ms. Rochelle Geronimo and Mr. Alan Corpuz facilitated the seminar on Investing in the Philippine stock market. They informed the OFWs about the advantages of investing in the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) vis-à-vis other forms of investment. They also discussed concrete steps on how to open an account for trading in the  PSE.

In a special video message to OFWs in Nigeria, the charismatic Christian spiritual leader and investment guru Bo Sanchez of Truly Rich Club encouraged the attendees to invest in the Philippine stock market, emphasizing that, with proper guidance and financial education,  such investment may be done by any OFW who wishes to retire rich and financially independent. Bo Sanchez cited the case of his housemaids, whom he taught the basics of investing in the stock market, and who now have sizeable placements.

Amiel Capinpin, another  young OFW, also served as a resource speaker, and shared his insights and personal experiences in investing in UITFs and mutual funds, as well as practical steps on how to open and manage such accounts.

A lively open forum ensued after the presentations of the three OFW resource speakers.

The seminar was attended by more than 50 OFWs from Lagos and neighboring states of Nigeria, of whom at least 30 were women. The attendees included highly paid professionals in the oil services, aviation, education, telecommunications, commerce, and accounting sectors, as well as housewives, domestic helpers and beauticians, among others. The OFWs expressed appreciation to the Embassy and the resource speakers for the practical and relevant information that they received during the seminar. A large number of OFWs indicated their interest in starting investments in the Philippine stock market and in other vehicles such as mutual funds.

FAL President Mrs. Fleurdeliz Atrib welcomed the OFWs at the beginning of the seminar, and emphasized the importance of saving for the future among OFWs in Nigeria. In his opening remarks, Philippine Ambassador to Nigeria Alex Lamadrid reminded the  OFWs to cultivate financial literacy in order to prepare for their eventual return to the Philippines after they finish their contracts in Nigeria.

At the end of the seminar, Ambassador Lamadrid presented the resource speakers with Philippine souvenirs, in line with the Embassy’s promotion of Philippine export products. The event concluded with a holy Mass celebrated by Filipino Franciscan priest Rev. Fr.  Alphonse Marin Salazar, after which a sumptuous fusion dinner of Philippine and Continental food was served.

Ambassador Lamadrid was accompanied by Assistance-To-Nationals (ATN) and Trade Officer Raymund Ondiano. The Embassy team rendered consular services, overseas voters registration, and ATN consultations on the sidelines of the seminar. Information materials on the West Philippine Sea issue were also distributed to the seminar participants. END