Thursday, January 16, 2014

If there is one thing you can give to the Philippines, what is that gift?

"Every second of volunteering, every peso, every drop of perspiration counts. But no matter how much we give, there is always a feeling that it does not seem enough. There is a dream to give bigger and to make a difference."

In January, Globe Telecom gives an early gift to bloggers for an opportunity to express what they think of under #GLOBEProjectWonderful2014. It seeks to answer the question:

"If there is one thing you can give to the Philippines, what is that gift?"

In my own little way, let me answer the beauty-queen  question. However, I do not have to be a beauty queen to be able to answer the question. I only have to be a simple working single mom to dream of impossibility of giving a huge gift for the Philippines as what foreign countries had given for Yolanda victims. I only have a dream that you too might dream of one day in the future.

If there is one thing that I can give to the Philippines, that is an insurance policy contract for every family's breadwinner from a reputable insurance company. Sounds funny? I don't care but that is my dream.

To be able to have a solid financial foundation, one must have healthcare and insurance. Insurance serves as replacement in case the breadwinner is gone. Unluckily not every sane Filipino is aware of the importance of insurance. Others are simply cynical about it including my most beloved brother. 

While each breadwinner is striving to work, earn and increase cash flow;  he or she must be protected by insurance. Thanks that the government have a healthcare program for every Filipino under the Philhealth. However, not every family is protected by Philhealth because not everyone is employed - others, underemployed or unemployed. 

I, for myself, am employed which makes me and my kid qualified for Philhealth. Since I cannot have my parents as among my dependents then, I had to pay monthly voluntarily their premium for Philhealth. For this year, the premium has increased and luckily, I paid it in cash until the end of December 2014. While having this as basic protection, it is never enough. The rest, I have to prepare for an emergency fund for obvious reasons - emergencies.

Insurance seems like a wheel chock lock in case the breadwinner dies. On the other hand, while rich people also buy insurance, there are more reasons for the middle income earners like me to obtain an insurance policy. If the middle income earners have to leave for their family a parcel of lot, who will pay for estate tax? Good if the breadwinner is protected by insurance.

We have a lot (or few?) financial advisors in the land. They keep on saying that we should have insurance. Have you read Pisobilities: Gabay sa Buhay Pinansyal by Francisco J. Colayco? Written in Filipino, I find it as the cheapest yet most comprehensive practical guide to financial planning. Or have you heard about a maid or family driver who invests in the stock market? There is one like that, ask Bo Sanchez about it. 

Supposing someone have five thousand pesos, wants to invest in the stock market and then he opens an account. Yes, it is good to invest and at the same time buy shares in mutual fund companies and reputable companies that trade with the Philippine Stock Exchange. Yet it is not good to sell shares when the market is down. What if after six months of investing, the investor breadwinner dies of an accident, what will the family receive? Isn't it five thousand pesos? Had he bought an insurance, his or her family will receive not just five thousand pesos but more than that. 

Photo source: Rappler (see full article here)

"...and if according to my fate, I am to lose my life
please bless with your protecting hand,
my loving family from strife." - Fireman's Prayer
I for myself have more than three life insurance including an accident insurance. However, these are not yet enough to serve as replacement for my income in case I die too soon. Aside from that, while others may think that being a member of the Red Cross means sharing a part some money, they may not be aware that each member is already protected. Apart from helping the needy, a Red Cross member is at the same time protected by insurance.

From having protection of healthcare and insurance, one can move forward to getting out of the debt trap. I thank those banks for disapproving all my application for credit card. It taught me to live a life of cash and e-purse - not a life of monthly credit card bills. With debt management, it is good to set aside emergency fund and then proceed to investment.

We invest for long term or short term reasons. For long term purposes, my ultimate reasons are retirement and child's college education. Others belong to want list - brand new car or house and lot.

With all these things in mind, financial freedom is a dream. Having a solid financial foundation is a key for having peace of mind. Ask me more. If I'd have a dream, I would dream that every breadwinner in every Filipino family be protected by insurance. If there is one thing that I can give to the Philippines, then that gift would be an insurance policy for every person who earns money to support a family.

We may have distinct roles to play in life. You may be a mother, a father, a daughter, son or a single mom like me. You too have dreams that you want to achieve. Having goals in life does not limit your imagination to aim high and dream once for your native land. It does not hinder you from doing little acts of thoughtfulness that contribute to massive acts of love for our country. What if confronted with the same question: if there is one thing you can give to the Philippines, what is that gift?

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