IC allows partial on-site operations under MECQ

Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - May 17, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Insurance companies, reinsurers, pre-need firms and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) are now allowed to resume partial on-site operations in areas covered by the modified enhanced community quarantine, according to the Insurance Commission (IC).

This is pursuant to the guidelines issued by the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), partially allowing the operations of financial services beginning May 16 until May 31, or the duration of the modified quarantine period.

Based on IC circular Letter 2020-57, issued by Insurance Commissioner Dennis Funa on May 14, IC-regulated entities, including insurance companies, insurance or reinsurance brokers, mutual benefit associations (MBA), pre-need firms and HMOs in areas under modified enhanced community quarantine may resume their business provided that at least 50 percent of their operations are under work-from home arrangements.

“Regulated entities may allow up to a maximum of 50 percent of their total workforce to work on-site,” the IC said.

“Such on-site operations shall be subject to the strict observance of safety protocols, safe distancing, and return-to-work protocols for private companies as mandated by the IATF-EID and other concerned government agencies,” it added.

IC said companies seeking to resume on-site operations must  issue certificates of employment to employees who will form part of their on-site workforce.

“Further, regulated entities are required to direct their concerned employees to bring company IDs, valid IDs and such other documents or identifications that will facilitate easy determination of compliance with relevant guidelines pertaining to the implementation of the modified enhanced community quarantine,” the circular said.

Funa also extended  the period insurers are allowed to conduct remote or online selling of insurance products to Dec. 31, 2020.

He said this would aid the local insurance industry “respond to new global conditions engendered by the COVID-19 pandemic,” also known as the “new normal.”

Funa reiterated that insurers are required to register their ICT initiatives with the Insurance Commission to ensure compliance with regulations and for monitoring purposes.

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