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Insurance, Savings and Loan Advocates (ISLA) mobilized in Samar and Leyte to increase outreach

Posted at July 18, 2019 | By : | Categories : News and Updates | 0 Comment

Samar and Leyte—In 2018, PREMIUM explored the development of new distribution channels to help provide risk managing financial services such as savings, loans and microinsurance products throughout Samar and Leyte. One such distribution channel is through the Insurance, Savings and Loan Advocates (ISLA). Sari-sari store owners (SSSOs) from Eastern Visayas were profiled and trained to become the pilot group of ISLA facilitators that would provide access to risk managing financial services through the sari-sari store business model. Through this scheme, sari-sari stores increase the outreach and scope of microinsurance services—especially for remote and hard-to-reach communities.


This project is part of the Microinsurance Distributorship Program, under the Bagong Araw PREMIUM Project supported by the Government of Canada and Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF), and co-implemented with CARD, Inc. and Hapinoy.



Communities in Samar and Leyte each had their respective batch of ISLA facilitators who were taught the key processes and guidelines in operating an ISLA, the fundamentals of microinsurance, the ins and outs of microinsurance products that will be offered through ISLA, and the techniques on how to be better distributors. In total, there are 38 enterprising and well-networked SSSOs (95% women) from Samar and Leyte who underwent a series of trainings to become Microinsurance Distributors or ISLA Facilitators in order to facilitate distribution of savings, loans and insurance to the members of community-based organizations they oversee.

For the Samar batch, key Informant Interviews among 48 enterprising and well-networked store owners in Basey, Calbayog and Catbalogan were conducted in April 2018. Among the 48 storeowners, 21 participated in the orientation and exposure program in May 2018; from the 21 oriented store owners, 19 (100% women) underwent ISLA training in June and July 2018 to officially become ISLA facilitators. The 19 were then assisted in the establishment and mobilization of their own ISLAs in July 2018. Lastly, the 19 trained ISLA facilitators (100% women) underwent microinsurance training in September 2018 becoming entitled to the role of microinsurance distributors (MiDs) in addition to their role as facilitators.


As of December 2018, ISLAs in Samar have 550 members (79% women) with the total value of shares (savings) bought at PhP 1,448,950.00  which makes the amount of shares per member an average of Php 2634.45. Total amount of money released during share out is at PhP 1,598,969.58 marking a return of investment of 6%-16%. 335 microinsurance products (61% of the 550 members including Sagip Negosyo) were availed by the members.

On the other hand, the Leyte batch had 55 key Informant Interviews among store owners in MacArthur, Julita, Dulag, Tanauan, Alang Alang, Sta. Fe and Tacloban in August 2018. From the 55 informants, 21 attended the ISLA orientation and exposure program in September 2018 while 22 participated in the ISLA training conducted in October 2018. Of the 22 trained ISLA facilitators, 20 (90% women) established and mobilized their own ISLAs. In addition, 19 of the 20 ISLA Facilitators (89% women) became entitled to the role of MiDs after finishing the Microinsurance training conducted in February 2019.


As of December 2018, the Leyte batch has amassed a total of 536 members (79% women) with the total value of shares (savings) reaching Php 315,750.00.  This translates to an average of Php 589.09 for the amount of shares per member. On the other hand the amount of loan disbursed (after the 1st loan meeting) is at  Php 280,295.00 for a total number of 112 borrowers. This translated to an average of Php 2,502.63 amount of loan per borrower.