Amid the challenges due to the pandemic, recently rebranded AIA Philippines took a bold step and shifted its approach to corporate social responsibility by adapting AIA Group’s Environmental, Social, and Effective Governance (ESG) Strategy. AIA Group is AIA Philippines’ Hong Kong-based parent company.
Effective Governance, one of pillars of the AIA Group ESG Strategy, recognizes the importance of strong corporate governance to deliver sustainable value and maintain a culture of business integrity.
AIA Philippines Chief Executive Officer Kelvin Ang further explains: “By adopting sound and effective governance practices, we are able to operate at the highest standards of responsible business practices. These, in turn, guide us as we work towards operating sustainably, effectively managing risk, while driving innovation.”
Strong Corporate Governance
With integrity and transparency at the core of its corporate governance standards, AIA Philippines cultivates a sustainable culture, guiding its Board of Directors towards achieving long-term value for all its stakeholders, while strengthening confidence in the Company.
“AIA Philippines, through our Board of Directors, maintains a governance program benchmarked against international best practices to ensure business integrity and sound decision-making,” says AIA Philippines Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary Atty Carla Domingo. “To ensure balance in its decision-making, our Board is composed of executive and non-executive directors with diverse backgrounds who bring their expertise and experience to the table, and guide the company towards the achievement of its business plans.”
Managing Risk and Employing Responsible Business Practices
In a business where risk is inherent and must be managed carefully, AIA Philippines relies on a clear and effective Risk Management Framework (RMF) where the primary risk owner in all business areas is defined so risks are identified and mitigated as soon as they emerge.
“We anchor our business practices on our Operating Principle of doing the right thing, in the right way, with the right people, and this permeates across the entire business and encompasses all stakeholders,” remarks AIA Philippines Chief Risk and Compliance Officer Kitten Samaniego. “We expect integrity and reliability from all our people and partners, so we can maintain the same level of trust that our customers have given us for the past 74 years. In the same way, our partners can expect reciprocity from AIA Philippines in their dealings with us.”
Employees are indoctrinated upon employment of the various policies and the business conduct expected of them. Annually, they undergo a refresher course on the AIA Code of Conduct, which details the standards of integrity and ethics expected of an AIA employee, the Anti-Fraud Policy, and the Anti-Corruption and Anti-Bribery Policies.
To protect the Company from becoming an instrument for money laundering, AIA Philippines has an Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing Program in place.
Witnesses of misconduct by anyone within or connected to AIA Philippines are encouraged to come forward under the Whistleblower Protection Program. The program ensures the whistleblower who reported suspected wrongdoing in good faith that s/he will be protected from retaliation.
When it comes to customers, clear guidelines on treating them fairly and securing their data are in place to ensure their protection. Market Conduct Guidelines and the Sales Code of Discipline, on the other hand, are the handbook to guide its agency force and agency distribution employees on the conduct of business.
Policies are also in place for engagement with vendors. A local Sourcing Policy supplemented by the Sourcing Practice Guide establishes standardized sourcing procedures. The same applies to the selection of suppliers and vendors, which are chosen on the basis of performance and merit in accordance with a fair and transparent process.
The scope of Effective Governance involves all the policies concerning the company’s business practices and stakeholders to ensure all roles, responsibilities, functions, and operations are fulfilled and aligned with the goal of achieving a sustainable future for AIA Philippines. “Our vision is always for the long term. By adhering to the highest standards of governance, we are able to assure our customers that AIA Philippines will be here decades from now, able to meet our commitments to them and their families, helping them live Healthier, Longer, Better Lives,” states Ang.
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