Friday, January 24, 2020

New reservist bats for financial literacy among soldiers

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 24, 2020): New reservist bats for financial literacy among soldiers (By Christine Cudis)

SERVE THE SERVANTS. Army chief, Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay leads the donning of ranks ceremony for Lt. Col, Leilanie Casa at the headquarters of the Philippine Army in Taguig City on Thursday (Jan. 23, 2020). Casa, senior vice president of the Air Materiel Wing Savings and Loan Association Incorporated (AMWSLAI), advocates for financial literacy among troops. (Photo courtesy of Officer Marco Baliña)

As one who has been working in the financial planning industry for more than two decades, a new reservist envisions that soldiers should be financially literate to help ease their burden in the field.

Lt. Col. Leilanie Casa said being a wife of an Air Force soldier herself, balancing a soldier’s work and making sure to provide for the family is a real struggle.

“It is enough stressor to be in a war, it is another to be there having to defend your country and yet the thought of providing financially for your family troubles you. There was a time that some of the soldiers even go AWOL (absent without leave) because they ran out of cash,” she said in an interview Thursday.

On Thursday, Casa was donned with her rank by Philippine Army chief, Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay, after completing her Masters in National Security Administration (MNSA) at the National Defense College of the Philippines at the Headquarters of the Philippine Army in Taguig City.

Along with her were Lt. Col. Dennis Domingo Villaseñor, director III at the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and Lt. Col. Ramp Nielson Uy, former vice governor of Northern Samar.

The official rank to be conferred an applicant under this program of vital government and private utilities which have been affiliated in the Reserve Force of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Although she may have just finished the MNSA course, Casa has spent her professional years introducing the men in uniform to various investment programs where they can put their hard-earned money into and helping them to keep it growing.

“I have been inclined to serving the people who serve us. We teach them frugality and savings so they do not just splurge on buying something with value that will only depreciate over time. We teach them to purchase appropriately,” she said, adding that some would apply for several loans to get a car that has no return on investment (ROI).

Casa is the senior vice president of Air Materiel Wing Savings and Loan Association Incorporated (AMWSLAI), a non-stock savings and loan association authorized by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

She oversees the strategic, operational, and corporation management of the company that serves men in uniform-- the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, and Bureau of Fire Protection.

She climbed her way up the ladder starting as an accounts assistant in AMWSLAI in 1997.

In AMWSLAI, there are products and services that are specially designed for the military, police, and their families for future needs, be it an emergency or not, Casa added.

Members of the association bind themselves by contributing capital funds and by lending such funds among themselves (Sec 2, RA 8367, Revised NSSLA, 1997). Hence, to be a member one has to invest a capital amount required by the association.

The investment earns dividends semi-annually. Once a member, the savings, loan, and welfare products; including special services may be availed of provided each entry requirement is satisfied.

“The goal is to make the soldiers financially literate. It’s the most we can do in return for their heroic efforts in nation-building,” she added.

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