Finance Secretary Ralph G. Recto has lauded the Insurance Commission (IC) for its 75 years of vigilant oversight of the Philippines’ insurance industry which has helped transform it into a robust and dependable sector for the Filipino people.
“This transformation is evident in the industry’s sustained growth in assets, earned premiums, and investments,” he said in a message delivered by Officer-in-Charge National Treasurer Sharon P. Almanza during the IC’s 75th Milestone Anniversary Celebration on January 24, 2024 held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).
The IC is an attached agency of the Department of Finance (DOF) mandated to regulate and supervise the insurance, pre-need, and health maintenance organization (HMO) industries in accordance with the provisions of the Insurance Code.
As of the third quarter of 2023, the total premiums collected by the insurance industry from life, non-life, and mutual benefit associations reached PHP 289.60 billion, higher by 2.8 percent from the same period in 2022.
Moreover, total assets grew by 10 percent, reaching a record PHP 2.23 trillion by the end of the third quarter of last year. Total investments also jumped by 15 percent to PHP 1.98 trillion in the same period.
“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,” the Secretary said.
To sustain the insurance industry’s continued growth in the years to come, the Finance Secretary ordered the Commission to strengthen the implementation of the Financial Products and Services Consumer Protection Act which helps consumers access financial products and services within a secure environment that prioritizes their rights and interests.
He likewise instructed the IC to proactively collaborate with schools and universities nationwide in fostering financial education among students, highlighting that a financially literate population is crucial for the development of a strong capital market and a globally competitive Philippine economy.
Furthermore, Secretary Recto urged the IC to take a leading role in pioneering creative, out-of-the-box solutions to tackle emerging issues, such as the development of new insurance products addressing the country’s vulnerability to disasters and climate change.
On top of these, he ordered the IC to continuously institute regulatory measures and enforcement mechanisms to ensure the financial stability of its regulated entities and protect the insuring public.
“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,” he said.
The Finance Chief also pointed out that the Commission should take advantage of emerging technological innovations even as it pursues ongoing information system projects to broaden Filipinos’ access to a wide range of financial products and services.
While there is much work to be done to broaden insurance coverage in the country, he expressed confidence that the men and women of the IC have the courage, commitment, and innovativeness to meet the demands of this time.
“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,” Secretary Recto said.