GSIS enters partnership to bolster public insurance against disasters

Initiative falls under mandate requiring coverage for all government assets

GSIS enters partnership to bolster public insurance against disasters

Insurance News

By Kenneth Araullo

The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) of the Philippines has entered a three-year partnership with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) aimed at strengthening the protection of government properties and assets against disasters.

Wick Veloso, president and general manager of GSIS, said that the initiative falls under the mandates of Republic Act No. 656, also known as the Property Insurance Law. This law requires GSIS to insure all government assets, covering a wide range of insurance types including fire, engineering, marine, aviation, bonds, motor car, and personal insurance.

The partnership's inception comes in response to a directive from President Ferdinand Marcos Jr, who instructed GSIS to work alongside the Department of Finance to enhance public insurance services. Focus areas for improvement include underwriting processes, loss control measures, insurance procurement, and heightened public awareness about insurance.

“We are grateful to the government of Japan and to JICA for this technical cooperation project. There is a real and compelling need to re-examine outdated practices, old insurance models, and archaic underwriting systems,” Veloso said in a report from the Manila Bulletin.

Sakamoto Takema, JICA's chief representative, highlighted the project's alignment with the Sendai Framework's objectives, which are centred around disaster risk reduction, prevention of new damage, and expediting recovery processes. He underscored the growing importance of robust public insurance systems in light of increasing natural disasters due to climate change. Sakamoto also noted the significance of risk-based insurance premiums in this context.

Both the Philippines and Japan are located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, a region known for its susceptibility to natural disasters like typhoons and earthquakes. Japan's advancements in earthquake preparedness serve as a backdrop to this partnership.

Elsewhere in the county, recent data presented at the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds’ November meeting revealed that compensation claims have been made for a Philippine tanker sinking of PHP1.4 billion ($25.3 million), $26.4 million, and €2.7 million ($2.9 million), so far.

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