THE GOVERNMENT targets to increase the number of individuals covered by microinsurance in the country to 50 million by 2022 from the current 39.8 million, a Finance official said.

“We would like to cover at least 50 million by 2022… Actually we want to go to farmers’ insurance. I don’t know if somebody is offering, but the framework is there and the IC (Insurance Commission) has issued some rules on it,” Department of Finance (DoF) Undersecretary Gil S. Beltran told reporters on the sidelines of the celebration of the DoF’s 10th year of partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH (German Development Cooperation) on the promotion of inclusive microinsurance on Monday.

“More communication campaigns, more outlets in the farthest corners of the country,” Mr. Beltran said when asked how they will be able to reach the target.

“Just last year, microinsurance covered 38.9 million Filipinos from 19.8 million in 2012 and less than 3 million reported for 2019. We achieved this much with the support of GIZ and other development partners. We hope to see these numbers to continue increasing over the years,” Mr. Beltran said in his speech at the event.

“Indeed, the microinsurance industry is one of the important links toward poverty alleviation. This is why the government continues to work with GIZ, the industry, and other partners in sustaining an enabling environment through which financial institutions like microinsurance companies can thrive, flourish and become catalyst for development,” Mr. Beltran added.

He noted how in the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda in 2013, those with microinsurance policies claimed an estimated P500 million almost immediately.

“Claims were made mostly from non-banking institutions like pawnshops and remittance centers — both of which cater and are most accessible to those in the lower classes,” he said.

“These claims have been vital in the rehabilitation of survivors. This shows that beyond accomplishing the goal of financial inclusion, microinsurance also took on the role of the social safety net for vulnerable segments of the population,” Mr. Beltran said.

Michael F. Rellosa, Philippine Insurance and Reinsurers Association (PIRA), said the passage of the fourth package of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) could improve microinsurance coverage in the country.

Kung mapapasa yung TRAIN 4, bababa ang taxes sa non-life insurance, makakatulong ng malaki iyon (If TRAIN 4 will be passed, taxes on non-life insurance will go down and that will be of great help),” Mr. Rellosa said.

Mr. Beltran said the DoF is hopeful that the fourth package of TRAIN, along with other tax reform bills, will hurdle the legislative within this year.

“That’s TRAIN 4 — lowering the taxes on financial assets removing the exceptions for some products. We want to have that bill and all the TRAIN bills passed this year. We want to do it this year because the best time to pass a tax law is during the first year of a new Congress… We will refile it in the next Congress if they don’t pass it during the next three weeks,” Mr. Beltran said. — R.J.N. Ignacio