Insurance industry in transition

THE Philippine insurance industry welcomes Atty. Reynaldo Regalado as the new insurance commissioner. He replaces Commissioner Dennis V. Funa, who completed his six-year term last December 2022 but was in a transitional position pending the appointment of his successor. Commissioner Funa — an attorney, book author, and law professor — was appointed by former President Duterte in December 2016 for a six-year term without reappointment, as required by the Insurance Code of the Philippines.

atty Funa exits the insurance industry with record-breaking growth in premiums, assets, net income and corporate net worth from 2016 to 2022. During his tenure, the minimum net worth requirement of P900 million and P1.3 billion from 2017 and 2022 respectively was implemented and met. As of this writing, few of the active life and non-life companies are still in the process of meeting wealth requirements. The total wealth of the industry was 2 trillion pesos at the end of 2022, of which 85 percent is invested assets.

However, I believe the most notable achievement of Funa’s tenure is the efficient and speedy handling of Covid claims. With his leadership and oversight, the insurance industry fulfilled its mission of serving the insurance community.

Many of the circulars issued by his office in 2020 were in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Several initiatives and projects launched during his tenure, such as the implementation of IFRS 17 in 2025 with a parallel run in 2024, will be carried over to the next commissioner. The World Bank has also asked insurance companies to submit their own Risk and Solvency Assessment (ORSA) by June 2023. Congress has yet to schedule hearings to revise catastrophe risk rates.

The new Commissioner does not have to concern himself with these pending problems. The industry bodies, the Philippine Life Insurance Association (PLIA) and the Philippine Insurers and Reinsurers Association (PIRA), and the staff of the Insurance Commission work together to meet all of these requirements.

atty Regalado is no stranger to public service, having served as head of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration from 1998-2001 and as a labor attaché in Japan from 1993-2004 and in South Korea from 2005-2006.

He is a graduate of the University of the Philippines School of Economics and College of Law.

Welcome to the insurance industry, Commissioner Rey Regalado!