President Aquino rewards Insurance Commission employees' performance, propriety with milestone bonus

January 22, 2014 7:32 am 

MANILA, Jan. 21 — Citing their efficiency and sense of propriety, President Benigno S. Aquino III on Tuesday announced a "milestone bonus" for employees of the Insurance Commission, the government agency that regulates and strengthens the country's insurance industry.

Speaking at the agency's 65th anniversary in Manila, the President cited a law that allows him to grant every five years such a bonus that he can increase to P10,000.

"There is a law that authorizes me to grant, on every five years, what they call 'milestone bonuses,' at least a P3,000 amount, which I can increase to P10,000. I think you deserve it," he said.

But he added the IC employees deserve the bonus especially because of their sense of propriety, in not immediately asking for it.

He said transmission was delayed because Commissioner Emmanuel Dooc felt it was improper to request for it and was waiting for his and the IC's accomplishments to be recognized by others.

"Sa Tagalog po, hindi natin ikinatutuwa ‘yung nagtataas ng sariling bangko. Kaya naman hindi lang dahil sa husay ng trabaho ninyo, pero pati na rin sa husay ng ugali ninyo ay dapat naman talagang ipagkaloob itong bonus na ito (We do not appreciate people boasting about their own achievements. This is why I am giving you this bonus, because of your sense of propriety)," he said.

During his speech, the President lauded the IC for fostering a sense of trust from the public, and such a sense of trust allowed the industry to grow.

He said trust is extremely vital especially in the insurance industry, which he said is doomed to fail if the insuring public has a gross distrust of insurance companies.

Such an industry also cannot grow when insurance companies do not have confidence in a market, he added.

"Your agency’s regulatory work, under the leadership of Commissioner Dooc, has fostered trust among all stakeholders; and while there is more to be done in this regard, your performance so far has already helped encourage the rapid growth of the industry," he said.

Citing figures from the industry, the President said that from the end of 2009 up to 2013, insurance premiums have increased by more than 150 percent, from P78 billion to up to P200 billion.

During this same period, the number of insured Filipinos increased by more than 72 percent, or 23 million Filipinos are now insured, 10 million more than in 2009.

At the end of the third quarter of 2013, he said insurance has grown to become an P854-billion industry, with projections that by end-2014, it will be a trillion-peso industry in terms of assets.

On the other hand, he said every additional Filipino insured is one more Filipino family "that can live without the fear of one major accident destroying everything they have worked for."

"It is one more family that can sleep better at night—that can set aside their worries and focus on building a better life—knowing that they have authorship of the following chapters of their lives," he said.

Meanwhile, the President said he recently reappointed Dooc to a fresh six-year term, so he will have the time and the breathing room to have needed reforms take full effect.

He added this new term will allow Dooc to continue his excellent management even after the President's term ends in 2016.

"I have also approved your agency’s reorganization plan, which will give you the resources and the manpower you need to meet the demands of your expanding industry," he said.

"I trust that these will help your agency further accelerate reform, and help move our country closer to our vision: a Philippines where each Filipino can work their hardest with the belief that someone has their back; a Philippines where the people can aspire for greater and greater things; a Philippines where, truly, no one is left behind," he added. (PNA)

SCS/PCOO/SSC

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