School Civic Project Amidst Pandemic

by Santiago A. Simeon, PHES

COVID-19 Pandemic has plunged the economic status into a deep recession with lots of jobs lost and companies closed due to losses incurred. But Filipinos have managed to take lockdowns as an opportunity to cut expenses and save money more.

According to the 2020 Financial Inclusion Survey done by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Government spending expanded by 5.8 percent. This is slower than the 8.8 percent increase a year ago when the government fast tracked the implementation of its programs and projects in line with its catch-up plan and 21.8 percent in the previous quarter that funded the COVID-19 response strategy through providing income support to low-income households and wage subsidy to small business workers. 

Pleasant Hills Elementary School (PHES) in coordination with the General Parents and Teachers Association (GPTA) has organized “Sentimo mang Ituring, Iponin Mo at Malayo ang Mararating” (SIIMM Project), a PHES 25-CENTS Ipon Challenge for the School Year 2020-2021. The project primarily aims for learners within the community to give importance to money, save money for future use and look for others who need help by giving or donating even in a very simple way.

This 12-week money challenge involved saving in increments weekly, starting from the first week of March up to the last week of May 2021. This Ipon Challenge is popularly known among Filipinos for a good reason and inspires others to save despite challenging times.

Saving money is difficult for most people. It is not as simple as putting money in your separate savings account or piggy bank. It is no wonder why in recent years, various money-saving challenges have trended in the Philippine social media landscape. With their compelling call to action and other gimmicks, many Filipinos fancied these fun goal-oriented and hopped on the money-saving challenge bandwagon.

This money challenge may call for a lot of determination, discipline, and major peso-pinching in the community, especially towards the last few months of this year-long financial journey, which can be burdening not just mentally but also financially”, GPTA focal person Johnson Buban explained.

Meanwhile, Michelle L. Oliveros, GPTA president, said that the project intends to reward when accomplished and it can help you develop some good financial habits, too, because it takes a lot of financial prudence to get by this challenge’s last leg.

Lyka Mae Y. Villejo, Grade 6 learner who started saving 25 centavo coins, said it was not difficult for her to continue this diversion despite the prevailing crisis. According to her, “Mahalaga po ang project ng ating GPTA officers dahil nalalaman natin ang kahalagahan ng bawat sentimo at dapat hindi ito pinagwawalang bahala lamang dahil kapag inipon mo ito ay marami ang magiging kabuuan nito”.

Mrs. Lucia M. Llego, school principal, commended the GPTA for their time and efforts given to said project.

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