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Duterte admin urged to approve mandatory disaster insurance

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Duterte admin urged to approve mandatory disaster insurance
The Philippine Catastrophe Insurance Pool (PCIP) aims to speed up recovery for low-income households and SMEs after a disaster

MANILA, Philippines – The Insurance Commission (IC) urged the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte to approve the mandatory disaster insurance coverage for households as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Insurance Commissioner Emmanuel Dooc said his office had submitted a letter regarding the Philippine Catastrophe Insurance Pool (PCIP), even if he had been informed that the national government is eyeing other options.

“I believe they are considering other options, [and] I think we have to discuss it with them, with the leadership,” Dooc said in a media briefing on Tuesday, October 25.

“We know that the plate is full and that there are many ongoing initiatives, but we hope that this matter should also be addressed,” he added.

At the beginning of Duterte’s term, Dooc said he was hoping the President would review and consider the draft executive order (EO) on the compulsory catastrophe insurance coverage.

The draft EO was previously endorsed by former finance secretary Cesar Purisima to the Office of the President during the term of former president Benigno Aquino III.

The EO, however, was not signed by Aquino before his term ended.

Against ‘mandatory’

According to earlier reports, the draft EO on the PCIP has been shelved because Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III is not keen on the mandatory nature of the proposed disaster insurance.

The PCIP aims to speed up recovery for low-income households and SMEs after a disaster. 

The Philippine Insurers and Reinsurers Association said the compulsory coverage is needed to allow the insurance pool to gain enough volume and make it sustainable.

“But from the pronouncement of our President and the members of his Cabinet, they are definitely in favor of addressing the climate change issue. Maybe we have to revisit it and make a new submission to the leadership,” Dooc said.

“It’s really important, they know it. They have mentioned it several times in their pronouncements, so I believe this is not something that our government is not paying attention to. Definitely we will come up with a new program for this,” he added.

Dooc earlier stressed that developing countries are vulnerable to natural disasters, thus the challenge lies in how to make every household and business resilient in the face of such calamities. 

Dooc shared how microinsurance responded when Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) struck the Philippines in November 2013, citing that the insurance industry paid 111,461 claims amounting to P532 million.

“The experience from Typhoon Haiyan has underscored opportunities to integrate microinsurance into the country’s Disaster Risk Management Framework such as greater demand for calamity insurance, livelihood protection insurance, and crop insurance, and greater awareness of insurance which lead to development of new products,” Dooc said. –

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