Pru Life UK's 'Cha-Ching' to teach Pinoy kids money smarts

Posted at 04/16/12 5:40 PM

Pru Life UK president and CEO Antonio Manuel De Rosas (fourth from left) and Education Secretary Br. Armin Luistro pose for the cameras after signing a memorandum of agreement at the Discovery Suites, Ortigas on Monday. 

 Photo by Fernando Sepe, Jr. for ABS-CBNnews.com

MANILA, Philippines - Pru Life UK has teamed up with the Department of Education (DepEd) to introduce a program to teach children at public schools how to be "money smart."

Pru Life UK's Cha-Ching Money-Smart Kids program aims to teach schoolchildren the four key money management concepts - earn, save, spend and donate - using an edutainment approach.

On Monday, Education Secretary Br. Armin Luistro and Pru Life UK president and CEO Antonio Manuel De Rosas signed a memorandum of agreement to introduce the Cha-Ching program in two public schools.

Under the agreement, the Cha-Ching program will be pilot tested in Upper Bicutan Elementary School in Taguig City and in Tagaytay Elementary School in Tagaytay City starting June.

The Cha-Ching program will be incorporated in either Math of Values Education subjects of Grade 2 students  in the two pilot schools. Pru Life UK will provide the schools with the Cha-Ching Money-Smart Kids kit, which includes a lesson plan, training for teachers, cartoon musical edutainment episodes in DVD plus work books and other school items. It will initially run for two years.

In his speech, Luistro said he hoped the "Cha-Ching" program would encourage Filipino children to save money. He joked that he's not the best person to promote savings, since he has the lowest Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) among the Cabinet members.

"If we have 20 million students and every student is encouraged to save P1 a day, that's just P200 a year (for each student) but that's alright... Even in the poorest communities, it is possible to bring back the old Filipino values of savings... Save P1 a day, as part of lessons in Math and Aralin Panlipunan. We can be a nation of savers, not just spenders," he said.

Cha-Ching is a multi-platform program financial literacy program launched by Prudential Corporation Asia last September. It was first introduced on the Cartoon Network as a series of animated TV musical episodes about a band of kids with different money-spending habits.

The website (www.cha-ching.com) features games, downloadable apps and videos that can be used by both children and their parents. A Pocket Money Manager app, which helps kids manage their money, is also available on the iTunes store.

Sean Rach, regional director brand and corporate affairs of Prudential Corp. Asia, said Cha-Ching uses animation and music to engage children and teach them money smarts. The program was crafted in coordination with Dr. Alice Wilder, a renowned children’s education specialist and Cartoon Network.

"Overwhelmingly 95% of parents said that their kids should learn about financial literacy. Parents want to be part of teaching money skills to their children, but only 13% consider their kids' money skills to be good," Rach said, during the press conference.

Pru Life UK's De Rosas said Filipinos have one of the lowest savings rates in Asia. He noted about 98% of Filipino parents believe their children should learn money management skills, while only 19% think their children have adequate money management skills.

"Our country's savings rate is one of the lowest in Asian region...One way to address this is through education, inculcate financial literacy while they are young... We believe today is first step in increasing financial literacy," De Rosas said.

Aside from the two schools, Pru Life UK is also bringing the "Cha-Ching World Tour" to various schools in Metro Manila. Various games and activities will be held to teach schoolchildren about the concepts of money management.

To date, the Cha-Ching World Tour has already been brought to De La Salle Greenhills, Poveda, School of the Holy Spirit and Claret School of Quezon City. Pru Life UK is expected to bring the "world tour" to more schools in the coming school year.