In line with the celebration of the 2022 Economic and Financial Literacy Week (EFLW), the NEDA Regional Office (NRO) MIMAROPA conducted a regional EFL Forum, with the theme “ISAPLANO: Bagong Development para sa Patuloy na Pagsulong,” on November 17 through  Zoom video conference.

The annual celebration is pursuant to Republic Act No. 10922, or the Economic and Financial Literacy Act, which declares the second week of November as EFLW.

The forum aimed to develop consciousness of economic and financial literacy and recognize the growth potential of the country through financially literate people who make sound financial decisions, mobilize savings, contribute ideas on improving economic and financial policies and programs, and raise awareness on economic and financial principles among various stakeholders in the region.​​​​​​​

Around 130 participants from regional line agencies, local government units, private sector representatives, students, and faculties of state universities and colleges attended the forum.

In his welcome message, Regional Director Agustin C. Mendoza of NRO MIMAROPA highlighted the importance of developing national consciousness on economic and financial literacy. He also shared that NEDA envisions a healthy and resilient Philippines with financially literate citizens who make sound financial decisions, have savings in local financial institutions, and contribute ideas on improving economic and fiscal policies and programs.

Meanwhile, the forum’s resource speaker, Philippine Tax Academy Chancellor Ma. Teresa S. Habitan, gave a lecture titled “Econ-fused? Economic and Fiscal Policies for Non-Specialists” where she shared principles and concepts of gross domestic product (GDP), public finance and fiscal policy, taxation and tax reforms, and debt management. Furthermore, she emphasized that “taxes are the lifeblood of the government,” which generally indicates that without taxes, the government would be paralyzed for lack of power to activate and operate.

In his closing remarks, NRO  MIMAROPA Assistant Regional Director Apollo Edwin S. Pagano expressed hope that the forum made the participants more appreciative of the various fiscal reforms that are being implemented by the government to ensure that tax money and other revenues truly go to basic services such as peace and order, transportation, and social services such as education, health, and social welfare. He said that the forum is  timely now that NRO  MIMAROPA is in the process of finalizing the Regional Development Plan and Regional Development Investment Program, as these help government agencies reflect on which programs or projects to prioritize, given limited government resources.