The Philippines is hit by calamities year in and year out. As a result, thousands of Filipinos suffer from the effects of such disasters, claiming the lives of individuals, rendering families homeless, and leaving a trail of devastation that takes years to restore.
In the hopes of alleviating the negative impact of these occurrences, a disaster resilience forum will be held this January 27 in Makati City. The event, called ‘2016 Ready: Disaster Resilience Forum – The Role of Microinsurance in Building Disaster-Resilient Communities’, is being organized to help prepare Filipinos for imminent dangers and to spread information in order to minimize, if not completely avoid, damages in the event of calamities. Highlighting the importance of microinsurance in a vulnerable country such as the Philippines, the forum aims to help educate and empower the public by presenting ways people can protect themselves and how they can take part in getting their community equipped with the necessary tools, practices, and knowledge to become more disaster-resilient.
Leading the movement is Cebuana Lhuillier Insurance Solutions, which has been actively offering aid to distressed individuals and communities through relevant insurance products and services as well as community outreach programs. At any given time, there are more than 6 million Filipinos covered by the ISO-certified company through its rich portfolio of products. Its premiere microinsurance offering, the Alagang Cebuana Plus (ACP), made available in partnership with Pioneer Insurance, has given otherwise uninsured individuals, especially the poor, financial security in times of need. ACP has settled more than P140 Million claims to date.
“It has been our commitment to answer to the call of the public in times of need, and this is one of the best ways that Cebuana Lhuillier can come to the aid of Filipinos. Our countrymen are constantly faced with challenges brought about by different calamities and, although we already have that indomitable spirit that allows us to cope with such difficulties, we still need to equip ourselves with practical knowledge and tools to lessen the impact of these events. That’s why we at Cebuana Lhuillier are organizing this forum. We felt the need to work with different stakeholders and increase awareness so we can all be prepared,” said Cebuana Lhuillier’s President and CEO, Jean Henri Lhuillier,
Organized in the observance of January as Microinsurance Month, the disaster resilience forum is supported by The Insurance Commission, the government agency fully promoting microinsurance under the Department of Finance, and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit or GIZ, which specializes in international development advocating pro-poor protection, The event is also made possible through partnerships with media outlets Philippine Daily Inquirer, Business Mirror, and Insurance Philippines.
Touching on the Marikina Valley Fault and the country’s susceptibility to disasters, CLIS General Manager, Jonathan Batangan, stressed the need for such event, saying, “This forum is very timely as there have been talks about ‘the Big One’ and the occurrence of more severe and more frequent natural disasters such as Typhoon Yolanda. We should have already learned our lessons and are prepared for any eventuality, but the reality of it is, many communities are not yet equipped with adequate knowledge especially on how to face these uncertainties. We hope that this forum will provide a venue to exchange ideas to foster disaster resiliency and encourage individuals, organizations and communities to be more pro-active in ensuring their security and protection in these vulnerable times. With enough preparation, we can face the challenges ahead with more hope and certainty.”