Further strengthening its campaign to protect Filipinos from the onslaught of calamities and other unforeseen events, Cebuana Lhuillier, the country’s largest microfinancial institution, launched the National Pilipino Protektado Day, an initiative that promises to provide more security to different communities in the Philippines. During the unveiling of the project on June 1 at the Fairmont Hotel Makati, the company, in partnership with Pioneer Insurance, announced that it will be giving away free microinsurance covers to one million Filipinos within the days leading up to July 21, the date hailed as the National Pilipino Protektado Day.
Cebuana Lhuillier President and CEO, Jean Henri Lhuillier, stated that the project is perfectly in line with the company’s mission of financial inclusion. “Through this campaign, Cebuana Lhuillier aims to make microinsurance part of disaster preparation for Filipinos since the Philippines is struck by multiple disasters every year. It is about time that we all come together to help those in need, especially during times of crisis. We at Cebuana Lhuillier have been pushing for financial inclusion and this is just one of the many ways that we believe would get us closer to that goal. Disasters wreak havoc to different communities in the country, resulting to loss of life and livelihood, so it is imperative that everyone is properly protected. More than having the usual emergency kits, obtaining microinsurance is another practical way to be prepared,” he said.
During his speech, Lhuillier acknowledged the value of relief operations conducted by government agencies and volunteer groups such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Philippine Red Cross, Oxfam International, and Global Peace Foundation. He also announced that the first batch of microinsurance covers will be given to the said organizations’ constituents. The groups were also awarded with emergency relief kits, life vests and lifebuoys to be used in rescue and relief endeavors.
Meanwhile, the rest of the free microinsurance covers will be given out to various individuals, groups, and communities across the country.
Aside from its campaign to insure one million Filipinos, Cebuana Lhuillier also announced the launch of several other groundbreaking initiatives during the event; Cebuana Alerto, an Android app that harnesses the digital mobile platform to provide vital information in disaster preparedness, OurHelp, a website dedicated to donating microinsurance, and the institutionalization of Microinsurance Agents Association of the Philippines, Inc. (MIAAPI), an organization founded to promote the interests and welfare of microinsurance agents nationwide.
Cebuana Lhuillier Insurance Solutions (CLIS) General Manager Jonathan Batangan reaffirmed the company’s commitment to disaster resilience and enjoins Filipinos to be part of the cause. “National Pilipino Protektado Day and the rest of our initiatives are geared towards heightening microinsurance awareness especially for the low-income sector. Considering the severity and frequency of calamities in recent years, we believe that we are now facing the New Normal. Cebuana Lhuillier deems it necessary to emphasize disaster preparedness through microinsurance given the country’s vulnerability. To mitigate the impact of these disasters, we now have quality and affordable microinsurance products to protect the lives and livelihood of the Filipinos. We are proud to have covered more than 6 million Filipinos to date through microinsurance”, he said.
Cebuana Lhuillier has been actively campaigning for disaster preparedness since the beginning of the year. In January, the company mounted a disaster resilience forum with the support of the Insurance Commission and GIZ (The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit). Dubbed “2016 Ready: Disaster Resilience Forum – The Role of Microinsurance in Building Disaster-Resilient Communities”, the event kick started the promotion of microinsurance as an effective disaster risk reduction tool. Since then, Cebuana Lhuillier has been cascading the key takeaways from the forum through road shows in major cities like Baguio, Cebu and Davao.