DOING what it does best – protecting public properties — is what separates the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) from other state agencies.
And despite this distinction, the state pension fund never closes its door to new ideas as it fully knows that learning is a continuing process for perfection.
GSIS recently collaborated with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to boost the protection of government assets and build the country’s resilience against disasters.
On the instruction of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the GSIS is working with the Department of Finance in building up capacity in all the aspects of public insurance including underwriting, loss control and management, insurance procurement, and developing strategies and promotional materials to raise awareness and promote public insurance.
The project was launched on November 22 at the GSIS head office in Pasay by GSIS President and General Manager Wick Veloso and JICA Chief Representative Sakamoto Takema.
Under the three-year partnership, JICA will support efforts of the GSIS in improving the protection of government insurable interests all around the nation.
“I am very pleased to present to you our early Christmas gift which is the launch of this important project. I must recognize the commendable dedication demonstrated by our counterparts.
You have been working hand in hand with us on this new cooperation that aims to protect the valuable investment of the government of the Philippines, its infrastructure assets,” Sakamoto said.
Veloso expressed his gratitude to the government of Japan and JICA in their willingness to share their best practice in general insurance with GSIS. GSIS is mandated to cover all assets and properties that have government insurable interests under Republic Act No. 656 or the Property Insurance Law.
It provides insurance coverage such as fire, engineering, marine hull and cargo, aviation, bonds, motor car, and personal insurance.
“We are grateful to the Government of Japan and to JICA for this technical cooperation project. There is a real and compelling need to re-examine outdated practices, old insurance models, and archaic underwriting systems,” Veloso said.
“This cooperation with the GSIS will be of great help to the Philippines in improving public insurance against disasters and protecting development gains from disaster risks in line with the Sendai Framework, which outlines the measures to prevent new damages, reduce disaster risks, and ensure fast recovery,” Sakamoto said.
Natural disasters are becoming more frequent and more severe due to climate change. The ”enhancement of GSIS’s ability to provide risk based insurance premium is critical and must be prioritized,” Sakamoto said.
The Philippines and Japan are both located in the “Pacific Ring of Fire,” which is the constant pathway of typhoons and earthquakes. Given its peculiar location, Japan has enhanced its coping mechanisms to earthquakes.
Through cooperation projects, the Japanese government has set out to help its neighboring countries survive catastrophes.
During the event, Veloso also announced that the GSIS will launch a property inventory mobile application to make it easy and more convenient for government property officers to register their agency’s properties online.
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