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Insurance Consciousness 2023 - Strengthening Disaster Preparedness and Resilience Through Insurance

By Michael F. Rellosa

The non-life insurance industry, through the collaborative efforts of the Philippine Insurer's and Reinsurer's Association, the Philippine Insurer's Club as well as the Insurance Institute for Asia and the Pacific, will be celebrating Insurance Consciousness Week from October 13 to 26, albeit with activities that go beyond the designated week. This year's theme is "Strengthening Disaster Preparedness and Resilience Through Insurance."

To reach the insuring public, they plan several radio program guestings with the opportunity for the audience to phone in their questions related to the chosen theme. The guestings will be at DZRJ AM on Friday, October 13, at 10 a.m., hosted by Errol Decame, and again on Saturday at 11 a.m., this time hosted by Barbie Atienza. PIRA, PIC and IIAP officers will be on hand to help enlighten the insuring public on the role of insurance in disaster preparedness and resiliency.

The week will also be celebrated by the offering of the Holy Mass, followed by a fellowship where industry bigwigs led by Insurance Commissioner Rey Regalado will get to announce and talk about their pet projects and initiatives related to the chosen theme and where ties and commitments are renewed over lunch.

The celebrations will be capped by an industry-wide Convention on Marine Insurance — a long-neglected class of business. The occasion will be graced by officers of IUMI, or the International Union of Marine Insurance, led by its secretary general Lars Lange who will give a talk on "The Present State of Marine Insurance"; Tetsunosuke Shinya, the vice chairman of Tokio Marine and Nichido Fire Insurance on "The Digitalization of Trade Documents"; Joanne Chan, the APAC underwriting director of ADVA Specialty on "Project Cargo on Changing Risks"; Hiroyuki Ishijima, Tokio Marines Hull and Energy Lead presenting a paper on "Offshore Windfarms as a Source of Renewable Energy"; and government regulators Insurance Commissioner Rey Regalado giving the keynote address and Marina Director Luisito de los Santos to talk about the "Maritime Development Roadmap."

Disasters occur not only on land but also on the seas, and the topics promise to shed light on how best to be prepared and resilient in the face of disasters. This is important for the Philippines as we are an archipelagic country with heavy reliance on maritime transport and trade.

The need to gather key industry players and experts to discuss topics related to the evolving changes impacting the marine insurance sector within the framework of proper risk assessment, disaster preparedness and resilience is obvious, and the conference will be the perfect opportunity to do so. Expected to attend this conference are marine underwriters, claims men, adjusters, brokers, shipowners, regulators, technology solutions providers, third-party providers and other stakeholders. Hopefully, this spurs the revival of the Marine Class of Business, returning the Philippines to the forefront of marine insurance in the region.

As we are on the topic of disaster risk preparedness, it would be good to note that Arise Philippines, the local network of Arise (the private sector alliance for disaster resilient societies) affiliated with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and of which PIRA is a proud member, will be holding various activities to highlight disaster preparedness and resilience, a topic that spans Industries and Associations.

On the horizon is the 10th Top Leaders Forum with the theme "Transforming Victims to Victor: A Multi-Sectoral Approach to Inclusive Resilience." The forum, organized by Arise Global, Arise Philippines, the National Resilience Council and SM Prime Holdings Inc., will be on October 13 (the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction) from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Function Rooms 1 and 2, SMX Convention Center Manila, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City, Philippines. The UN Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2023 underlines that resilience investment is essential to coping with climate change that leads to resource issues and increased risk to people, planet and prosperity. Resilience is truly the catalyst to sustainable development. The event, geared toward Arise regional networks, members of the government, heads of corporations, as well as leaders in the academe and socio-civic sectors, aims to collectively identify strategies for fostering resilience within the society in alignment with the National Economic and Development Authority's Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028.

As you can see, disaster preparedness and resiliency is a topic shared by many who have crossed boundaries and united to be part of the solution. The insurance industry is collaborating with like-minded groups to help our society become ready and resilient for disasters that may come our way.


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