THE PHILIPPINES will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in May to participate in the Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Insurance Facility (SEADRIF), joining five other fellow ASEAN members and Japan.
In a statement, the Department of Finance (DoF) said Tuesday that Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso told Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, “I hope you can consider signing the MoU at the ASEAN+3 meetings to be held on May 1. I raised this issue because six countries — Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore and Japan — have already signed to this MoU and this is insurance against natural disasters.”
The six countries signed the MoU in Busan, South Korea in December.
Mr. Dominguez replied that the Philippines will “definitely” sign the MoU in Fiji, adding that the government has signed up for a similar parametric insurance scheme with the World Bank.
According to the World Bank website, SEADRIF will involve a trust and insurance company in Singapore which will be partners with and technically supported by the World Bank. The platform will provide ASEAN countries advice and solutions on how to increase their financial resiliency to climate and disaster risk, as well as support pre-disaster planning and provide post-disaster relief and reconstruction funding.
The first SEADRIF product is a regional catastrophe risk insurance program for Laos and Myanmar.
Earlier, National Treasurer Rosalia V. De Leon said that the government has enough funds to cover the damage caused by the earthquakes that hit the country this month, citing parametric insurance in place with a maximum coverage of P20.49 billion that can provide quick liquidity for national and local governments. The premium for the insurance was P2 billion paid to the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), which subsequently reinsured with the World Bank and the insurance market.
The provinces covered by insurance are: Albay, Aurora, Batanes, Cagayan, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Cebu, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, the Dinagat Islands, Eastern Samar, llocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Isabela, Laguna, Leyte, Northern Samar, Pampanga, Quezon, Rizal, Sorsogon, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Zambales. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio