THE group behind Maxicare announced on Tuesday that it agreed to have the private investment company of the Gokongwei clan as a co-equal shareholder of the health insurer.

In a media release on Tuesday, the Equicom group said the “partnership agreement” signed with the Gokongweis’ JE Holdings, Inc. will allow Maxicare to revolutionize its mission of helping Filipinos.

“Maxicare is already the top health maintenance organization (HMO) provider in the Philippines; this partnership will only strengthen our lead in the healthcare sector and will help us deliver industry-defining services that will benefit Filipino consumers,” said Antonio L. Go, chairman of the Equicom group.

The partnership agreement was approved by the Insurance Commission on May 5.

JE Holdings Chairman Lance Y. Gokongwei said the partnership will further “democratize the delivery of essential healthcare services to our countrymen.”

“We share Maxicare’s vision for the future of healthcare in the Philippines. As their partner, we commit our support as they continue to innovate to help bring a better and comprehensive healthcare system in our country. We have high hopes that the synergy from this partnership will provide unparalleled customer experience,” Mr. Gokongwei said.

Maxicare Healthcare Corp. is among the pioneers in the HMO industry in the Philippines. It was established in 1987 by a group of doctors and businessmen to improve the local healthcare system.

“We imagine a future where healthcare services in the country will be further enhanced through a new industry-leading healthcare ecosystem that will benefit Maxicare’s medical provider partners and provide Maxicare members better customer experience, affordability, and availability,” Maxicare Chief Executive Christian S. Argos said.

Maxicare is planning to expand into new products and services in order to reach and serve more customers.

“By leveraging the combined Equicom and Gokongwei ecosystem, Maxicare will now have access to more than 36 million customers,” Mr. Argos said.

The Equicom group is a diversified conglomerate engaged in the areas of healthcare, information technology, banking, and financial and leasing services.

The group includes Equitable Computer Services, Inc., a computer solutions provider. Its financial services business is composed of Equicom Savings Bank, Inc., a medium-sized savings bank.

Maxicare provides comprehensive healthcare programs and currently services the largest number of HMO customers across the country. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson