(Delivered by National Treasurer Sharon P. Almanza)
January 24, 2024
Insurance Commissioner Reynaldo Regalado; Deputy Commissioners and officials of the Insurance Commission; fellow workers in government; ladies and gentlemen: good afternoon.
It is my great pleasure and privilege to deliver the speech on behalf of our Secretary, Secretary Ralph G. Recto.
Let me begin by congratulating the men and women of the Insurance Commission for 75 years of faithfully serving the Filipino people.
Over the past seven decades, the Philippines’ insurance industry has transformed into a robust and dependable sector under the vigilant oversight of the Insurance Commission.
This transformation is evident in the industry’s sustained growth in assets, earned premiums, and investments.
For instance, the total premiums collected by the insurance industry from life, non-life, and mutual benefit associations reached 289.60 billion pesos as of the third quarter of 2023, up by 2.8 percent from the same period in 2022.
The total assets of the industry grew by 10 percent, reaching a record 2.23 trillion pesos by the end of the third quarter of last year.
Moreover, total investments also jumped by 15 percent to 1.98 trillion pesos during the said period. And I’m pretty sure all of you know the statistics at heart.
All these numbers underscore the formidable strength of the insurance industry.
In addition, this outstanding performance is a testament to the efficiency of the regulatory and supervisory measures implemented by the Insurance Commission.
Clear standards, aligned with global practices, were established and rigorously implemented. The commitment to enforcement was steadfast. The regulatory guardian has been beyond reproach and therefore constantly credible.
Now, my challenge for the Insurance Commission is to keep these numbers growing in the years to come.
And to do this, the Commission must strengthen the implementation of the Financial Products and Services Consumer Protection Act.
This will empower our consumers by providing them with confidence in accessing financial products and services within a secure environment that prioritizes their rights and interests.
The Commission must also continuously strive to build financial literacy among our people.
So I urge you to proactively collaborate with schools and universities in fostering financial education among students. This will help cultivate a generation of financially literate individuals capable of making prudent financial choices from an early age.
A financially literate population is crucial for the development of a robust capital market and a globally competitive Philippine economy.
Additionally, we should intensify nationwide financial literacy initiatives, covering a broad spectrum of insurance products available in the Philippine market and extending beyond reach to our Overseas Filipinos.
Our vulnerability to disasters and climate change calls for the development of new products, implementation of innovative solutions, and utilization of new technologies.
The Commission should take a leading role in pioneering creative, out-of-the-box solutions to tackle these emerging issues.
On top of these, the Insurance Commission must continuously institute regulatory measures and enforcement mechanisms to ensure the financial stability of its regulated entities and protect the insuring public.
By effectively fulfilling its role as a regulator, the Commission ensures consumer protection and the reliability of insurance coverage.
In turn, a credible insurance industry encourages more people to avail themselves of financial protection. That is important to strengthening our people’s financial resilience in the face of so many uncertainties.
Digital technology will be the key that unlocks not only greater access to a wide range of financial products and services, but also a more responsive, reliable, and effective insurance industry.
With this, I urge the Insurance Commission to take advantage of emerging technological innovations even as you pursue your ongoing information system projects. By continuously innovating the way we do things, we will better serve our nation.
There is much work to be done to broaden insurance coverage in our society. But I am confident that the men and women of the Insurance Commission have the courage, commitment, and innovativeness to meet the demands of this time.
Once again, congratulations on your 75th anniversary. I look forward to working closely with all of you to ensure a stable, secure, and quality life for every Filipino—a vision we have for Bagong Pilipinas.
Maraming salamat po at mabuhay po kayo!