Citi’s Support for Microinsurance Sector Showcased in Three Industry Events
In celebration of National Microinsurance Month, the Microinsurance MBA Association of the Philippines (RIMANSI), hosted its annual forum and formally launched its partnership with Citi Foundation and Citi Philippines. RIMANSI is a microinsurance resource center and an association of 17 Microinsurance Mutual Benefit Associations (Mi-MBAs) in the Philippines, with a combined membership of 4.28 million, insuring about 17 million lives nationwide.
For the last decade, RIMANSI has been in the forefront of providing business development support services to rural development finance organizations to promote universal risk protection for the vulnerable sectors of the society. Mi-MBAs are community-based mutual microinsurance providers owned and governed by the members.
The Citi Foundation grant, Building Microinsurers’ Capacities for Greater Financial Inclusion, supports a five-year capacity building program that will assist at least 17 Mi-MBAs across the country. The assistance being provided includes training, customized technical services and member-level education to develop and enhance new products and support for the development of a mechanism for investment pooling among Mi-MBAs. The program aims to help improve organizational capacity and performance to achieve and sustain membership growth.
Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip, RIMANSI Chairman Emeritus thanked Citi for being a steady partner in financial inclusion. “Our theme for this year is ‘Bigger, Stronger, Together for Greater Financial Inclusion’, which exemplifies our resolve to reach more uninsured households. We thank partners like Citi Foundation and Citi Philippines for enabling us to make a difference in the lives of the poor in the country.”
Over 160 stakeholders from the microinsurance sector attended the annual forum.
The forum, dubbed Risk Protection and Microenterprise Development for a Resilient Nation, featured panel discussions on collaborative and innovative programs for risk protection and enterprise development by government institutions and civil societies, with Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino as keynote speaker.
RIMANSI followed this up with a two-day investment management workshop for Board, managers, and finance officers of member Mi-MBAs to educate themselves on investment market, securities and instruments, formulate each of their own investment policies, and discuss the concept of pooled investment fund and its potential benefits for the organization. Philippines Insurance Commissioner Dennis Funa gave the keynote address.
Insurance Commissioner Funa (3rd from right) gave the keynote address at the Citi Foundation-hosted investment management workshop. He is joined here by [left to right]: RIMANSI Executive Director Jun Jay Perez, Citi Philippines Director for Public Affairs and Corporate Citizenship Aneth Ng-Lim, CARE MBA General Manager Pelagia Mendones, Kasagana-Ka MBA General Manager Silvida Antiquera and SEDP MBA President Fr. Rex Paul Arjona.
Most recently, RIMANSI hosted its Annual General Meeting with over 60 participants from the Insurance Commission, the International Coop & Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) and 15 mutual microinsurance associations.
Citi Philippines CEO Aftab Ahmed was invited to give an overview on the potential of pooled investments. In his keynote, Ahmed stressed the importance of getting the actuarial equation right, making the right investment decisions and presented a most compelling argument on how investment pooling provides scale and improves returns for mutual benefit associations. He also reiterated Citi’s commitment to financial inclusion and its support of the microinsurance sector.
Ahmed reiterated the three factors needed to promote financial inclusion: having a strong focus on financial literacy; making financing and insurance more accessible; and creating income-generating opportunities through microfinance.
Ahmed adds, “To overcome poverty, we need to ensure that the underbanked and the underserved are included. The Asia-Pacific region remains home to an estimated 1.2 billion people who do not have access to a bank account or other formal financial services. We can all make a difference as individuals, as professionals and as an organization. We at Citi feel passionately about this.”
Citi Philippines CEO Aftab Ahmed with RIMANSI Chairman Emeritus Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip,
Philippine Insurance Commission’s Atty. Jose Mari Tolentino and ICMIF’s Sabbir Patel