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Legarda Calls for Disaster Risk Protection for the Poor, Supports Microinsurance Drive

April 13, 2011

SENATOR LOREN LEGARDA TODAY STRESSED THE IMPORTANCE OF STRENGTHENING THE PROTECTION OF THE LOW-INCOME SECTOR AGAINST DISASTERS AS SHE EXPRESSED SUPPORT FOR THE PROMOTION OF MICROINSURANCE IN THE COUNTRY.
Legarda, Chair of the Committee on Climate Change, said that when disasters strike, it is the poor that is most affected since they have less resources to bounce back and recover from their losses.
“Disasters drive the poor deeper into poverty. It is the poor that languish in evacuation centers after disasters. It is the poor that bear the whiplash of death and destruction. It is the poor that pick up the pieces of their shattered lives ” and bury their dead ” after every disaster. Extreme events will mean more death, sickness, displacement and unemployment,” she explained.
To strengthen the resilience of poor Filipinos to disasters, the Senator espoused the promotion of microinsurance and its inclusion in the government’s policy mainstream.
Legarda noted that based on statistics from the Department of Finance (DoF), only 2.9 million of the 23 million Filipinos below the poverty line have some kind of risk protection.
She said that the low-income sector must understand the importance of microinsurance, which caters to their needs such as protection from health and property risks, so that they are aware of their options to ensure their safety and preserve their resources.
She added that The National Strategy for Microinsurance that was launched by the DoF-National Credit Council in 2010 identifies the role of legislators to craft laws and policies that would strengthen participation of the private sector in the delivery of microinsurance products and services.
“We have to look for ways by which we can promote microinsurance. It could be through the exemption of microinsurance products from certain taxes that are being passed on to the insured or to improve regulatory practices. This is one way to protect our citizens who are most vulnerable and strengthen their resilience to disasters. This is also an approach to help our citizens get out of the disaster-poverty trap,” Legarda said.