Junior Achievement joins Pru Life UK in celebrating Cha-Ching’s 1-million milestone

Insurance Commissioner Atty. Reynaldo Regalado, Pru Life UK President and CEO Sanjay Chakrabarty, Prudence Foundation Regional Program Manager Pia Warburton, and DepEd Assistant Secretary Dexter Galban

The Junior Achievement Philippines (JA Philippines) and the Junior Achievement Asia Pacific (JA Asia Pacific) have joined Pru Life UK and Prudence Foundation in celebrating a major milestone for Cha-Ching financial education program in the country.  

Cha-Ching—an educational series of animated, music-based cartoons developed in partnership with Cartoon Network Asia and Emmy award-winning Children’s Educational Specialist Dr. Alice Wilder—has already taught basic money management skills to a million students in the country. The initiative is also going full swing to double this number soon by expanding the reach to more educational institutions to more regions nationwide.  

As a financial literacy program, Cha-Ching was launched in the Philippines in 2011, targeting grade school children aged seven to 12. It has been embedded within the values education and/or technology and livelihood education subjects particularly for Grade 4 students in participating public and private schools. It is also designed to supplement the current life skills lessons implemented by the Department of Education (DepEd).  

Significant partnership 

“It is good to know that we have partners like Pru Life UK and Pru Life Foundation that collaborate with us to implement a very relevant and curriculum-based instructions for Grade 4 students,” said Krishna C. Alejandrino MSC, ChBA, the Executive Director of JA Philippines.  

Cha-Ching characters Prudence and Zul

 “We are also thankful to DepEd for making us among its education partners in providing support to developing curriculum as well training and providing certification to teachers so they can be able to implement the program for Grade 4 students. Our vision for Cha-Ching is to bring this to every school and every child so the country can flourish with financial literate young Filipinos,” he added.  

Alejandrino also reiterated that JA’s collaboration with Pru Life UK and Prudence Foundation for the Cha-Ching program is part of their advocacy to support the Republic Act 12679, a law promoting entrepreneurship and financial education among the Filipino youth. “The program adheres to JA’s three pillars—entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and work readiness,” Alejandrino said.  

JA’s peace advocacy 

JA is a 105-year-old global organization that has been nominated this year, for the third time in a row, for a Nobel Peace Prize. “A lot of people don’t necessarily see the work in education as related to world peace,” said JA Asia Pacific President and CEO Maziar Sabet, who also noted that the growing disparity in wealth worldwide is a pressing global issue next to climate change.  

“We see that people’s access to financial markets is being limited at the bottom of the pyramid. For us, the first step to addressing this is financial inclusion. You cannot have financial inclusion without financial literacy,” he added.  

Prudence Foundation Regional Program Manager Pia Warburton, JA Philippines Executive Director Krishna Alejandrino, Insurance Commissioner Atty. Reynaldo Regalado, Pru Life UK President and CEO Sanjay Chakrabarty, JA Asia Pacific President and CEO Maziar Sabet, and DepEd Assistant Secretary Dexter Galban

Cha-Ching started as a program with 18 animated videos or episodes that teach children about key money management concepts of Earn, Save, Spend, and Donate. The episodes continue to be broadcast in Cartoon Network cable channel across Asia, reaching up to 4.3 million households in the Philippines. The Cha-Ching Curriculum, at the same time, brings financial literacy into classrooms at schools in a manner that would easily be absorbed by the pupils.  

“What we see in a million students touched by this program is the collective empowerment of communities. This would not be possible without this partnership [with Pru Life UK, Prudence Foundation, and the DepEd]. This is an example of how institutions like a private organization like Pru Life and an NGO like JA can come together to move the world,” Sabet said.