• EO for mandatory disaster insurance awaited

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    BACOLOD CITY: The Insurance Commission (IC) said it is optimistic that the government will approve a proposal for the establishment of a mandatory disaster insurance pool aimed at protecting homeowners and entrepreneurs from losses due to earthquake, fire, typhoons and flooding.

    Insurance Commissioner Emmanuel Dooc said that the proposal is now being reviewed by the Bureau of Treasury and will soon be forwarded to the Secretary of Finance for approval.

    Dooc made the statement during a press briefing at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting for Disaster Risk Finance on Wednesday.

    The proposed-mandatory disaster insurance was spearheaded by the IC and the Philippine Insurance and Re-insurers Association (PIRA).

    With the help of the World Bank and the International Finance Co. (IFC), the insurance pool would be composed of all licensed non-life insurers who would coordinate with the national and local governments in introducing mandatory insurance against disasters.

    One recommendation is to require proof of insurance from the pool before any residential or business owner is issued their annual permit to own or operate at the municipal level.

    “Hopefully, this will take place soon and one feature of this is that we will only be requiring an executive order to fast track the launch of this disaster insurance pool,” he said.

    On the other hand, the Insurance Commission head stressed the need to have a regional insurance roadmap to sustain the resiliency of the economies and protection of citizens in Asia and the Pacific.

    “Governments and businesses should invest in disaster preparedness and mitigation. Both the public and private sectors in Asia Pacific are vulnerable to natural disasters. No country or business is spared from the increased risks disasters pose to livelihoods and communities,” he said.

    Dooc said the staggering cost of disasters impinge on the region’s scarce resources, noting that without preparation, funds that would have gone to investing in growth are instead channeled to repair and rehabilitation, disrupting economic development plans.

    Thus, it is imperative to have a roadmap to build resilient economies around the region, he said.

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