OVERSEAS Filipino workers (OFWs) will soon be able to report insurance-related complaints to the Insurance Commission (IC).
This was after Insurance Commissioner Reynaldo A. Regalado and Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Officer-in-Charge Hans Leo J. Cacdac signed an agreement during the 75th anniversary of the IC on January 24. The agreement would provide OFWs with a dedicated hotline to resolve complaints against insurers, read a statement the IC issued last Tuesday.
It added that the IC will establish a dedicated hotline in its Public Assistance and Mediation Division, which will specifically address insurance-related concerns of OFWs.
The IC pointed out that the hotline will serve as a communication channel for OFWs to report their grievances, ask for assistance, and obtain information about their insurance coverage.
Filipinos bound for employment abroad are mandated to have insurance coverage as per the current rules for deployment.
Based on Section 37-A of the Republic Act 10022 (An Act Amending RA 8042, Otherwise Known as the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995), each migrant worker deployed by recruitment or manning agencies is required to be covered by a compulsory insurance policy that shall be secured at no cost to the worker.
Under the guidelines, in the case of accidental death and permanent total disability, their insurance must cover the costs. Meanwhile, repatriation costs, subsistence allowance benefits and money claims arising from the employer’s liability must also be covered. The compulsory insurance of OFWs should also include coverage for a compassionate visit by relatives, medical evacuation and medical repatriation.
Through the agreement, the IC said an online authentication system will be created to ensure that the mandatory insurance purchased by OFWs is legitimate. Furthermore, the agreement with the DMW will also include a seminar on compulsory OFW insurance which will expand the existing pre-employment and pre-departure orientation seminars.
During the IC’s anniversary, Finance Secretary Ralph G. Recto said the IC should continue to institute regulatory measures and enforcement mechanisms in its regulated entities to ensure financial stability at the same time protecting the insuring public.
“A credible insurance industry encourages more people to avail themselves of financial protection. That is important to strengthening our people’s financial resilience in the face of so many uncertainties,” Recto added.
The agreement also aims to promote financial literacy among OFWs, which the chief of the Department of Finance said “is crucial for the development of a robust capital market and a globally competitive Philippine economy.”
“We should intensify nationwide financial literacy initiatives, covering a broad spectrum of insurance products available in the Philippine market and extending beyond reach to our overseas Filipinos,” Recto said.