• Long wait killing a pioneering company

    8
    EFREN L. DANAO

    EFREN L. DANAO

    HOW long must it take the Insurance Commission (IC) to resolve cases filed before it?

    Thirty days, according to the IC Rules of Procedure, that is 30 days from the time all required documents have been filed by the parties involved.

    Well, the Steel Corporation of the Philippines (SCP) was feeling desperate after the IC had failed to act for more than a year on the two cases it has filed against nine insurers for non-payment of insurance claims on SCP assets destroyed by two fires in 2008 and 2009.

    No wonder, Abeto Uy, SCP chairman and chief executive officer, felt the need to file a mandamus with the Court of Appeals last July 28 to compel the IC to resolve the two cases against the nine insurance companies.

    A mandamus, it was explained to me, provides relief whenever a public officer unlawfully neglects the performance of an act, which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust or station, and there is no plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. Whew, but I got the drift!

    Uy pointed out that under the amended Insurance Code, the IC has power and supervision over insurance companies. It can suspend or even cancel the licenses of erring insurers. Uy lamented that the IC had refused to exercise these powers and review the cases against nine insurance companies for non-payment of insurance claims.

    Indeed, it takes the patience of Job to wait as Uy did – about eight years for the insurers to pay up, and more than a year for the IC to act on his company’s complaints.

    The woes of SCP against the insurers started in 2008, when fire hit the company’s plant in Munting Tubig, Balayan, Batangas. SCP had previously insured its $216-million worth of assets, including plants, buildings, and equipment for material damages, and for business interruption losses.

    Uy claims that the consortium of insurers composed of UCPB General Insurance Corp., Oriental Assurance Corp., PNB General Insurers Corp., and Equitable Insurance Co. refused to pay based on the insurance plan bought by SCP.

    With what he called “unfortunate” experience with the four insurers, SCP decided to insure its undamaged assets and business interruption losses with another consortium. Another tragedy hit SCP with a second fire on Dec. 7, 2009.

    A panel of insurers, among them Adjusters Crawford and Co. Philippines, Inc., BA Insight International Inc., Forensic Services, Inc., and Standard Insurance conducted an ocular inspection of the fire scene and damaged cold rolling mill. The panel concluded that no foul play was involved in the fire and confirmed the legitimacy of SCP’s claim.

    Despite this finding by independent investigators, SCP complained that the new consortium of insurers – Mapfre Insular Insurance, Philippine Charter Insurance, Asia Insurance Philippines, New India Assurance Co., and Malayan Insurance – refused to pay the balance of the insurance claims of SCP. Remember, those fires took place in 2008 and 2009

    So, off to the IC went the beleaguered SCP. It failed to find the expected swift action there so SCP rushed to the Court of Appeals for a mandamus. Hopefully, this pioneering company can find the much needed relief there.

    The SCP is registered with the Board of Investments as a pioneering company. It’s the only steel firm qualified under the Iron and Steel Industry Act. It’s the country’s top steel firm with assets amounting to about P13 billion.

    I remember that during the campaign, then presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte said that his industrialization plan will focus on strengthening the steel industry. It’s to the country’s benefit then for SCP to resume its normal operation as soon as possible.

    19espiloy47@gmail.com

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    8 Comments

    1. Benjamin Medina on

      Sa tagal ng desisyon, lalo ka palang lulubog pero wala itong kaso sa IC at insurance companies!

    2. Ganyan yang mga yan. Mga loko sila, sa una lang magagaling. Pag kailangan mo na sila, wala na, “hu u po” ka na. Dapat minomonitor ng Insurance Commision yang mga insurance companies na yan. O baka naman kasabwat nga sila?

    3. The steel company hasn’t received yet its claims to all the insurance companies? It’s taking forever.

    4. Hindi kaya magkasabwat ang IC at mga insurance companies na ito??? Ang alam ko ay hindi natanggal ang kasalukuyang IC comish nang mag-cleansing si president digong. Kaya’t hindi malayo na kilala na nitong si comish ang mga kumpanya. Siguradong batang insurance din naman itong si comish kaya’t pareho lang ang hilatsa ng bigote ng mga ito. Isa pa, karaniwang mga banko rin naman ang may-ari ng insurance na ito kaya’t hindi papayag ang mga ito na tumulak ng bilyong halaga nang ganun ganun nalang. Sayang naman ang mga abugado de kampanilya na retainer ng mga banko kung hahayaan nilang magbayad ng bilyones ang banko ng wala man lamang gagawing hakbang para mapigil ito… just saying

    5. ay hindi pinost yung comment ko? ulitin ko na lang. sabi ko, these insurance companies know how to persuade you to get insurance from them, promise you will get this amount, collect money, and never fulfill their promise. it’s like wasting money for nothing.

    6. dito mapapatunayan ng mga uwak na mauuna pa silang putian ng buhok bago makakuha ng claims sa mga insurance companies. magaling lang mga yan sa simula. tapos iiwanan ka na lang sa ere pag nakuha na ang gusto.

    7. Tutubuan ka na ng ugat pero wala ka pa ring makukuhang claims sa mga pahirap na insurance companies lalo pa kung nasa side nila ang insurance commission. Mamamatay na lang basta ang negosyo mo. Kahit konting hiya man lang sana meron kayo.