Solon urges IC anew to suspend in catastrophe insurance rates

December 18, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 101 views

A LAWMAKER has reiterated his call to the Insurance Commission to suspend the implementation of its Circular Letter No. 2022-34 that will increase the insurance premium rates on catastrophes such as typhoons, floods and earthquakes.

Last December 12, AGRI Party-list Rep. Wilbert T. Lee filed House Resolution (HR) No. 632 to seek a probe into the untimely adjustment of the minimum catastrophe insurance rates across the country which was decided without prior consultation with the private sector and the end-user who will be negatively affected by the increase.

The adjusted rates, which will take effect on January 1, 2023, will result to a sudden huge increase in insurance premiums ranging from 40% to as high as 400%.

“Kaya po natin nireregulate itong insurance industry para maging patas o hindi makapang-abuso ang mga insurance companies. Pero bakit wala man lang nakonsultang end-users sa pagtaas ng insurance premium na ito? Sino po ba ang pinoprotektahan sa polisiyang ito?” Lee said.

“Bakit minimum ang tinututukan dito? Hindi ba, it’s better or it’s good for the consumer if magkakompetisyon at pababaan ng rate. Bakit ngayon ang kinokontrol ng ating komisyon ay ang minimum? Walang maximum eh, walang ceiling,” he added.

The lawmaker from Sorsogon pointed out that the insurance premium hike will also result to the increase in prices of basic commodities which is an additional burden to the general public.

Lee shared that he also wrote a letter to Insurance Commissioner Dennis Funa to inquire on the issue, but as of writing, the latter has not responded yet.

“Domino effect po ito. Siguradong tataas ang presyo ng mga pagkain, dahil sa production pa lang, sa storage, sa mga makina, pagdating sa distribution center, hanggang sa retail, lahat ay apektado ng pagtaas ng insurance premium na ito dahil halos lahat po ay kumukuha na ng insurance,” Lee emphasized.

“Kanino po ito ipapasa ng mga kompanya kundi sa mga consumers. Panibagong pagtaas na naman po ito sa presyo ng mga bilihin. Kawawa na naman ang taumbayan dito. Kaya tayo po ay nananawagan sa ating Commissioner ng Insurance Commission na itigil ang implementasyon ng kanilang circular dahil wrong timing na wrong timing po ito. Kapag nasuspinde ito, Winner Tayo Lahat,” he added.

Lee also expressed alarm on the detrimental impact of the said insurance hike to the agriculture sector and to the government’s effort to achieve food security.

“Nalaman po natin na pati Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) ay apektado at magtataas din ng insurance premium. Kung patuloy na madedehado ang ating agri workers sa mga serbisyo, nalalagay din sa alanganin ang isinusulong nating food security,” Lee said.

“Kung matutuloy ang dagdag-singil na ito sa catastrophe insurance, disaster po yan para sa mga Pilipino,” he added.

Several organized business groups and private firms expressed their strong opposition to the said policy in the absence of proper consultation considering the very high increase in insurance.

During Lee’s press conference last December 12, Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) and PHILEXPORT Chairman Sergio Ortiz-Luis and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industy (PCCI) President George Barcelon expressed their solidarity in calling to stop the implementation of the said adjustment.

“Itong sa insurance, I think, dapat kapag nag-aapprove sila ng increases, dapat siguro nagpapakita sila ng rason.

Dapat nga sana nagbababa pa sila eh… because they’re really raking in profit now. Itong climate change na maybe they are using as a reason, this is a boom to them [to their business],” said Luis.

“We concur [with Cong. Lee]. We hope that our Congress would really take this into heart and hold this in abeyance in view of the challenges in the small businesses. I would like to support his statement as far as this [increase] has to be really looked into carefully,” said Barcelon.

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