1st Philippine Insurance Forum on Strengthening Disaster Resilience in the Philippines

Mr. Jorg Bruniecki, Munich Re
Ms. Margareta Wahlstrom, UNISDR
Hon. Emmanuel F. Dooc, Insurance Commissioner
Mr. Emmanuel R. Que, PIRA Chairman
Ms. Kiki Lawal, UNISDR
Ms. Charlotte Benson, ADB
Mr. Eduardo Anthony G. Marino, DOF
Mr. David P. Mercado, Jr. PIRA Trustee
Mr. Richard Sanders, Willis Re
Mr. Augusto P. Hidalgo, PhilNare
Mr. Michael F. Rellosa, PIRA Deputy Chairman
Ms. Madeleine Varkay, ADB
Mr. Pedro P. Benedicto, Jr. PIRA Vice-Chair on Ad-Hoc Committee on CAT Pool
Ms. Rebecca B. Dela Cruz, PIRA Trustee
Mr. Antonio Roderick B. Cabusao, PIRA Member, Ad-Hoc Committee on CAT Pool
Ms. Claire N. Chua, PIRA Trustee
Mr. Jerry Velasquez, UNISDR
Atty. April Raine B. Morales, PIRA Member, PR Committee
Mr. Perfecto M. Domingo, PIRA Treasurer
Mr. Roberto B. Crisol, PIRA Board Adviser & Member, Ad-Hoc Committee on CAT Pool

Invitation to the 1st Philippine Insurance Forum
on Strengthening Disaster Resilience in the Philippines
Manila, Philippines, 10 November 2014

The United Nations office for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), Philippine Insurers and Reinsurers Association and SM Prime Holdings, Inc. hosted the -
1st Philippine Insurance Forum on Strengthening Disaster Resilience in the Philippines
10 November 2014, 1:30PM to 6:00PM
Meeting Room 10, SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia.

This event is a unique platform where both private and public sector members discussed challenges and opportunities for insurance in disaster risk reduction and resilience. It include presentations from specialists as well as prospects for knowledge sharing amongst high-level participants.

The destruction from Typhoon Yolanda (international code name Haiyan) in 2013 is a reminder of the exposure and vulnerability of the country to natural hazards. The Haiyan Post Disaster Needs Assessment Report released in April 2014 outlined damages estimated to be PHP 89.598 billion (approximately USD 2 billion). In 2009, tropical storm Ketsana and typhoon Parma hit Luzon in relatively quick succession. A comprehensive post disaster needs assessment conducted in the wake of the disasters estimated that losses were equivalent to 2.7 percent of Philippines’ annual GDP. “The adverse impacts on the productive sectors were largely due to damaged or lost inventories, raw materials and crops. In addition, business operations were interrupted by power and water shortages, damaged machinery, and absent employees, which contributed to an overall reduction in production capacity,” said the report.

Main lessons from the 2009 typhoons are probably still relevant: In the wake of Ketsana and Parma in 2009, the post disaster needs assessment made several recommendations. It said the country’s disaster risk reduction and management should be “more proactive, coherent, and effective”; disaster risk financing should shift from “risk retention to risk transfer, hence limiting the public share of funding with higher involvement of private sectors”; and that local governance “should have a key role in implementing the recovery and reconstruction and future measures to mitigate disaster risk”.

The Philippines remains vulnerable and exposed. The Philippines has more than 7,100 islands, some large and some small. Most islands are very poor with buildings of mostly light construction. They are highly dependent on fragile transport links, which once cut make it difficult to support affected communities. Many populations and economic assets are exposed to typhoons from the east. The country is also vulnerable to earthquakes as the October 2013 quake in Bohol and Cebu illustrated. Strengthening disaster risk management, including promoting risk transfer mechanisms like insurance, remains vital for the future resilience of the Philippines.

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