PASAY CITY – On 30 January 2020 (THURSDAY), the Microinsurance MBA Association of the Philippines (MiMAP), also known as RIMANSI, organized the National Microinsurance Forum at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City. The National Microinsurance Forum—supported by Citi Foundation—brings together key microinsurance stakeholders from all over the Philippines to discuss the updates, issues and developments in the microinsurance industry.
The forum was guided by the theme “Value Creation through Partnership and Collaboration” which discussed about opportunities for partnership and collaboration in terms of product development, utilizing digital financial services for service delivery and distribution channel, as well as promoting good governance practices in order to create better value for the people that the industry serve. The forum also acted as an opportunity for participants to build their network and learn from their peers. There were 323 participants of the forum that represented Mi-MBAs, MFIs, promoters, supporters and other key players of microinsurance, the Insurance Commission and other government offices.
Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip, CARD Founder and Chairman Emeritus of MiMAP, opened the event sharing the contribution of the Mi-MBAs in poverty eradication in the country. The 18 Mi-MBAs under MiMAP network have insured the lives of 24.93 million Filipinos from 6.86 million members nationwide. In 2019, the Mi-MBAs have collected a total of Php 4.81 billion in contributions and premiums, reserved Php 1.95 billion in refundable equity value and paid claims in the amount of Php 1.43 billion. Every day, Mi-MBAs pay 178 death claims for an equivalent amount of Php 3.91 million per day. Even with these numbers, Dr. Alip underscored that Mi-MBAs alone will not be able to provide protection against disaster losses of all its members especially the microentrepreneurs, thus the need for more partnership and collaborative work among technical service providers, development partners and especially policymakers and regulators in order to create a better value for the members, particularly in developing a business interruption insurance.
This was followed by Citi Philippines CEO Aftab Ahmed who seconded Dr. Alip’s call for more partnership and collaboration. “No single institution can address [all problems], you need to reach out, to partner, to break out of the silo… It is possible if committed.” As a key partner of the Mi-MBAs, Ahmed stressed the importance of partnership in promoting greater financial inclusion through expanding the reach of microinsurance.
Three keynote speakers also delivered messages in line with the theme of the forum. They are Assistant Secretary Ma. Teresa Habitan from the Department of Finance, Commissioner Dennis Funa from the Insurance Commission, and Chief Investment Officer Smith Chua from BPI AMTC who shared with the participants the updates on the economic, insurance and investment market conditions, respectively, as part of the regular topics of this annual event.
Focusing on the insurance updates, Commissioner Funa highlighted that the microinsurance industry was able to insure 40 million individuals as of third quarter of 2019 with MBAs taking up 62% of the market share. The success of microinsurance in the Philippines as cited by Commissioner Funa is a product of the multi-stakeholder approach of the different stakeholders. Thus, he suggested that the “public sector and private sector to combine data” in order to develop a product that will help address disaster losses among microentrepreneurs. Lastly, he also shared that the Insurance Commission launched the Microinsurance Corner in their website to take advantage of the increasing connectivity which the internet offers thereby further increasing awareness on microinsurance.
The forum also provided panel sessions on value creation through trends and developments, governance and digital financial services. The first session – which was moderated by SEDP President Fr. Jose Victor Lobrigo, with GIZ RFPI Asia Program Director Dr. Antonis Malagardis as the presenter, and with industry leaders Roy Miclat from 1CISP, May Dawat from CARD MBA, Victor Tanjuakio from Nat Re, Lorenzo Chan Jr. from Pioneer Life, and Dr. Epifanio Maniebo from RMSI as reactors – presented trends and developments in the microinsurance industry such as product innovations and use of insurance technology which serve as opportunities and threats to the microinsurance sector. At the end of the session, Dr. Malagardis, called forth the panel members to come together and develop a product that will further risk protection of the vulnerable sector in the country.
The second panel session – which was moderated by Kasagana-Ka Coop General Manager Maria Anna Ignacio, with Director for Corporate Governance Analytics Roberto Bascon Jr. from the Institute of Corporate Directors as the presenter, and with Atty. Jorge Brania from the Insurance Commission, Eduardo Jimenez from MCPI, Silvida Antiquera from MiMAP and KMBA, Ryzpah Capicio from SEC as the reactors – presented the governance performance of insurance companies and discussed further the developments in the governance of the biggest partner-institutions of Mi-MBAs which are the Microfinance NGOs, and how the two may be able to collaborate to strengthen governance practices between and among organizations.
CARD MBA, Kasagana-KA MBA, KCCDFI MBA, Pag Asa ng Pinoy MBA and SEDP MBA were also recognized as the top 5 Mi-MBAs (alphabetically arranged) in the 2019 ASEAN Corporate Governance Scorecard assessment, among the Mi-MBA sector.
Finally, the last panel session – moderated by MiMAP Consultant and Independent Trustee Camilo Casals, with Mr. Kenneth Palacios and Mr. Lito Villanueva from PayMaya and RCBC, respectively as the reactors – provided examples and applications of the digital financial services that PayMaya and RCBC offer. Mr. Palacios shared PayMaya’s vision of making digital financial services accessible to every Filipino, through partnerships with institutions and the Smart Padala network. On the other hand, Mr. Villanueva showcased how RCBC ATMGo improved the process of cash disbursement and made financial services easier to access.
Ms. Silvida Antiquera, MiMAP President, concluded the program by presenting an overview of each speech and panel discussion and extending her gratitude to guests consequently reminding the industry to continuously explore partnership and do more collaboration to complement the strengths and weaknesses of each sector towards “creating positive impact or value not just for the organizations and to the community each sector serve, but to the society at large”.
The forum was also supported by BPI AMTC, CPMI, Nat Re and RMSI.