Will you have trouble feeding your family after a couple of months? Will the interest on your loans balloon? Will you have enough to pay for the upcoming enrollment of your kids?

Marahil ay hypothetical questions lang ang mga ito para sayo ngayon pero maniwala ka, dapat lagi mong kayang sagutin ang mga tanong na ito.

Why? Because at some point in their lives, a lot of people end up having to face questions like these head on — even those who work in the Philippines’ biggest companies.

9 - Lost your job

Take it from the former employees of GMA. In excerpts of a Cebu Daily News article below, we share how even a pioneer employee of the company was retrenched, despite working hard for 19 long years.

Pagkatapos nito, ikukuwento rin namin sa iyo kung paano ka tunay na makakapaghanda para sa mga hindi inaasahang pangyayari na ganito. So start reading this Smart Money Tip!

TV correspondent Jun Veliganio was about to go on air to deliver a live report in Cebuano for GMA’s afternoon newscast on Friday when he got a call at 5 p.m. The news desk asked him to return immediately to the station in Busay, Cebu City.

Back at the office, Veliganio, 47, was stunned to receive his walking papers. Cebu station manager Ann Marie Tan told Veliganio that he was one of several workers that the network had to let go.

A retrenchment, to take effect on the last day of May, rolled out in all GMA regional stations – Cebu, Bacolod, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Naga (Bicol) and Ilocos – where news operations were scrapped or downsized.

9 - GMA

The move was announced simultaneously on Friday and displaces about 200 personnel – reporters, video cameramen, editors, technical crew, and talents. The actual figure, based on sources in the network, was not officially announced.

A brief statement from GMA Network for the regions issued by its corporate communications office said:

GMA Network is in the process of undertaking a strategic streamlining of programs and manpower in its provincial stations to ensure business competitiveness. This has resulted in reduction of manpower and targets more efficient operations.

Severance packages are offered by GMA to all affected personnel.

GMA Network greatly appreciates the contributions rendered by our Kapuso in the regions and we wish them all the best as they seek new opportunities outside the network.”

In an interview with Cebu Daily News, Veliganio lamented:

“Why me? I don’t have a single derogatory record in my whole career with GMA.”

He said getting laid off was the last thing he expected as the most senior correspondent in Cebu.

Veliganio, a father of two, whose jolly disposition makes him well liked by media colleagues, was a pioneer of GMA 7 in Cebu when it aired its first newscast as Balitang Bisdak in 1999. He has worked for the network for 16 years, nine of them as a regular employee.

Veliganio said he was in a daze when he signed papers given to him. He accepted the check for his separation pay of one month per year of service and his salary until the last day of May.

With tears flowing, Veliganio said he returned his company ID and station issued-cellphone.

“From the start of my work here, I sacrificed and did my best for the good of the program but just like that, I’m being rejected.”

Several Cebu print and broadcast journalists went online to express sympathy for their GMA colleagues who lost jobs. Some changed their Facebook profile pictures to black .

A TV reporter of another station posted in his Facebook account: “How could you be so HEARTless?”

A newspaper reporter added a hashtag in his post: “#Kapusongwalangpuso.”

After turning over his ID cards to the station, correspondent Veliganio went home on Friday without waiting for his duty to end at 9 p.m.

He didn’t punch out.


Source: Cebu Daily News

Lessons learned

What Smart Money Tips can we learn from such an unfortunate and heartbreaking event?

1. You NEED an Emergency Fund.


Yes, an Emergency Fund is a NEED, not a WANT. This is mandatory if you want to attain all your financial goals.

25a - Emergency fund -

What exactly is an Emergency Fund? According to Investopedia:

An Emergency Fund is an account that is used to set aside funds to be used in an emergency, such as the loss of a job, an illness, or a major expense.

The Emergency Fund improves financial security by providing a safety net that can be used for two (2) things:

  1. To meet emergency expenses; and
  2. To eliminate the need for borrowing money (and paying interest!) to pay for emergencies.

Ang Emergency Fund ay hindi lang para sa mga kaganapan kung saan nawalan ka ng income; para rin ito sa mga aksidente, sakit, natural disasters, at kahit ano pang emergency na iyong maranasan.

25a - Emergencies

Baka iniisip mo ngayon, “Uutang nalang ako sa kamag-anak pag may nangyaring emergency.” Siguro nga, magagawa mo ito… KUNG may pera silang mapapahiram sayo!

Kasi kung wala, marahil ay mapapapunta ka sa iyong bangko. And we all know that for a helping hand, the bank is going to charge you an arm and a leg in interest fees!

As you can see, having an Emergency Fund can spell the difference between managing tough times and experiencing a financial catastrophe.

Thus, to best manage emergencies, make sure you save up for an Emergency Fund equivalent to six (6) months of your basic expenses.

At this point, however, you might be asking:

Why is it so high? Can’t my Emergency Fund be worth just 1 month of expenses?

We’ll give 3 answers to this question in the Smart Money Tips below:


2. Emergencies are unpredictable.


Well, obviously. That’s why they’re called emergencies.

Merriam Webster defines an emergency as:

An unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action.

Malas lang tayo kasi maraming emergency ang pwedeng mangyari. Kunwari, iba na ang panahon; dahil sa climate change, ang dami ng malalakas na bagyo sa Pilipinas na nagdudulot ng matinding baha! Naalala mo pa ba ang bagyong Ondoy?


25b - Climate change

When it comes to work, there is no such thing as “corporate loyalty” anymore as companies continue to turn to machines and outsourcing.

Illnesses are being experienced more often by younger people nowadays, with the proliferation of fast food and long, always connected, and stressful working conditions.

These are all “unforeseen circumstances” that can and will call for immediate action if they happen to you!

Kasi isipin mo: Pag nawalan ka ng trabaho, titigil ang dating ng income pero hindi titigil ang gastusin! Siyempre, kailangan mo pa ring kumain, magbayad ng kuryente, magpaaral ng bata, at kung anu-ano pang gastos. You’re going to have to do something quickly to fix the situation, or else you won’t be able to pay your bills.

If a flood hits your town and infiltrates your home and/or your car, you’re going to have to do something quickly to fix both of them, or else you won’t be able to live in your home comfortably and drive your car at all!

And if you get diagnosed with a illness, doctors are going to have to do something quickly to patch you up, or else your condition might get critically worse!

These instances are where your Emergency Fund comes in. The money in your Emergency Fund enables you to do something quickly about your emergencies!

That’s why the best thing that we can do to protect ourselves and to hedge against the unpredictability of emergencies is to have a sizable Emergency Fund.

With a fairly large Emergency Fund that can cover 6 months’ worth of your basic expenses, you can at least cover a significant amount (if not all) of money that emergencies will deal upon you.

The higher your Emergency Fund, the better you can deal with emergencies, no matter how unpredictable they are!


3. Emergencies are frequently expensive.


Isipin mo ang lahat ng halimbawang emergencies na pinag-usapan natin sa taas. What do they all have in common?

Simply, it is this:

Malaking gastos sila! They’re all so expensive!

No Money

And worse, they happen every day to countless people all over the world!

Not having a sizable Emergency Fund when these expensive emergencies happen will surely leave a huge dent on your finances and dislodge you from the road that leads to your financial goals. Kasi ang perang dapat para sa financial goals mo na, like your dream home, biglang mapupunta sa emergency!

And that’s just for not having a sizable Emergency Fund. Imagine not having an Emergency Fund AT ALL! Ouch!


4. Having an Emergency Fund makes emergencies cheaper.


This Smart Money Tip might just be the best reason to save up for a sizable Emergency Fund for yourself.

Because if you think having an Emergency Fund is expensive, think again. Which is more expensive:

  • Having an Emergency Fund that can prevent you from going into interest-bearing debt when emergencies happen? OR
  • Emergencies that worsen because you can’t pay for them yet and eventually force you to go further into debt?

No matter how you look at it, having an Emergency Fund will always cost you less because you can put out the emergency at the first onset, preventing it from worsening and eventually costing more. Car owners who don’t have money at the moment know this best — they postpone the repair of a car part only to find out that more parts have been affected because the problem has gotten worse over time!

On top of that, you get to save on interest expenses because you don’t have to take out a quick loan to put out emergencies immediately!

Pag mayroon kang Emergency Fund, mayroon ka ring peace of mind kasi alam mong may pang-gastos ka kontra sa kahit anong emergency. And you can’t easily put a price on peace of mind!

There’s never a “fairly good” time to have an emergency and there’s rarely a “fairly good” price for them, too.

Emergencies suck, period. And unfortunately for us, they’re a fact of life. It might be grim but the possibility of emergencies happening is always there, similar to how the sun will always rise in the east and set in the west.

However, we are not helpless. May magagawa tayo laban sa emergencies. We can lower the risk by having a sizable Emergency Fund!


How about you, do you already have an Emergency Fund? Kasing laki na ba ito ng 6 months ng iyong basic expenses? Let us know by commenting in the comments section below!


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