ASEAN Integration: Are Microinsurance MBAs Insulated?
As part of the celebration of the 8th National Microinsurance Month and the 66th Anniversary of the Insurance Commission, RIMANSI held its annual Microinsurance Forum, entitled “ASEAN Integration: Are Microinsurance MBAs Insulated?” last January 23, 2015 at the Insurance Commission. It was attended by around 70 participants coming from member-partner Mutual Benefits Associations, visitors from Canadian credit unions and representatives from the key stakeholders of the insurance sector including government, private, and development organizations. Hon. Ferdinand George A. Florendo, Deputy Insurance Commissioner, welcomed the participants to the forum. He then described RIMANSI as a “very important agency in the promotion and growth of microinsurance in the Philippines.”
Mr. Arup Chatterjee, Principal Financial Sector Specialist of Asian Development Bank (ADB), and Deputy Insurance Commissioner Dennis Funa highlighted the ASEAN integration and its potential impact in the Philippine insurance industry. They emphasize the opportunities, challenges, competitive advantages, and the potential of Mi-MBAs in the ASEAN region.
Mr. Camilo Casals, RIMANSI’s Independent Member of the Board of Trustees, thoroughly discussed the opportunities and challenges that will be encountered by Mi-MBAs. Providing first-hand knowledge, Ms. May Dawat, General Manager of CARD MBA, and Mr. Rolando Victoria, ASKI Executive Director, shared the experience of their respective organizations in penetrating the ASEAN market in pursuance for greater financial inclusion.
In the afternoon, a panel composed of Canadian cooperative and mutual insurers from Canada, Mr. Graham Wetter, President and CEO of Credit Union Central Alberta Limited; Ms. Mary De Sousa, EVP-Marketing and Communications of First Ontario Credit Union; and Mr. Kevin Hoppins, Chairman of the Board at UFA Co-operative Limited, discussed on the means to stay competitive in a liberalized economy by expounding on their experiences.
Closing the forum on an optimistic note, Dr. Jaime Aristotle B. Alip, RIMANSI Chairman Emeritus, shared that to be able to respond better to the challenges of the ASEAN integration, there is a need to have a formal structure that will promote ownership and greater participation amongst Mi-MBAs in the country such as a Microinsurance MBA Association. He formally launched the value proposition of RIMANSI on its way to being the representing body for Mi-MBAs in the Philippines by introducing RIMANSI’s current mechanisms to maintain a viable, competitive, and inclusive MBA. He emphasized that this association is “pursuing its mission of greater financial inclusion through one direction, one voice, shared products and services, pooled risks, and mutual protection.”