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Insurance industry in transition

By Herminia S. Jacinto

THE Philippine insurance industry welcomes Atty. Reynaldo Regalado as its new insurance commissioner. He replaces Commissioner Dennis V. Funa who completed his six-year term last December 2022 but was in holdover position until the appointment of his successor. Commissioner Funa — lawyer, book author and professor of law — was appointed by former president Duterte in December 2016 for a term of six years without reappointment as provided for in the Insurance Code of the Philippines.

Atty. Funa leaves the insurance industry with a record breaking growth in premiums, assets, net income and net worth of the companies from 2016 to 2022. It was during his term that the minimum net worth requirement of P900 million and P1.3 billion as of the years 2017 and 2022, respectively, were implemented and complied with. As of this writing, only a few of the active life and non-life companies are still in the process of complying with the net worth requirements. Total assets of the industry as of year end 2022 amounted to P2 trillion, 85 percent of which are in invested assets.

I believe, however, that the most notable accomplishment of Funa's term is the efficient and fast handling of Covid claims. With his leadership and supervision, the insurance industry delivered on its mission of service to the insuring public.

Many of the circular letters issued by his office in 2020 were in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Several initiatives and projects started during his term like the implementation of the IFRS 17 in 2025 with a parallel run in 2024 will be inherited by the next commissioner. The World Bank has also required insurance companies to submit their Own Risk and Solvency Assessment (ORSA) by June 2023. Hearings on the revision of rates of catastrophic risks are still to be scheduled by the Congress.

The incoming commissioner need not worry about these pending issues. The industry associations, the Philippine Life Insurance Association (PLIA) and the Philippine Insurers and Reinsurers Association (PIRA), and the Insurance Commission staff are working together to finish all these requirements.

Atty. Regalado is no stranger to public service having served as head of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration in 1998 to 2001 and was the labor attaché to Japan in 1993 to 2004 and in South Korea in 2005 to 2006.

He is an alumnus of the University of the Philippines School of Economics and College of Law.

Welcome to the insurance industry, Commissioner Rey Regalado!


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