CARD MBA provides relief to over 50,000 members following natural disasters in the Philippines

Friday, 16 February 2018

The Centre for Agriculture and Rural Development Mutual Benefit Association (CARD MBA) has announced that over 50,000 of their members were affected by tropical storm Urduja and typhoon Vinta, both of which hit the Philippines in December 2017.

CARD MBA, the insurance arm of microfinance leader CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI) and a Philippine-based member of the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF), also reported nearly USD 350,000 (PHP 18 million) of disaster aid was provided to victims by CARD MRI.

Natural disasters Urduja and Vinta (known globally as Kai-tak and Tembin, respectively) both caused mass devastation and loss of lives, with tropical storm Urduja striking first in mid-December affecting CARD MBA members based in Mindoro, Samar, Leyte and surrounding areas, followed by typhoon Vinta which hit Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Misamis Oriental and nearby regions less than two weeks later.

“The majority of the affected clients (34,000) came from those areas struck by Urduja,” said CARD MRI Disaster Response Chair, Marilyn Manila, adding that 17 of its members and their dependents sadly did not survive the catastrophe.

Sonia Reyes, a 53-year old housewife residing in Jade Valley, Davao City and member of CARD MBA witnessed typhoon Vinta destroy her home: "The water rose up very fast until it reached the ceiling of our first floor. The water kept on running as the rain continued,” said Sonia in an interview.

The total number of CARD MBA members needing re-housing was 1,773 with claim payments amounting to nearly USD 50,000 (PHP 2.5 million).

Strengthening CARD MBA’s 8-24 (hour) claims settlement strategy

CARD MBA recently announced a new policy, the ‘8-24’ strategy, aiming to pay its members’ insurance claims between eight and 24 hours after a major incident. This was an ambitious step up from CARD MBA’s previous claims policy (the ‘1-3-5’ strategy) where claims were settled within one, three or five days. The Urduja and Vinta incidents saw a 96.5% accomplishment of the ‘8-24’ target.

“What we have achieved is already worth celebrating. We will, however, continue to push ourselves more and do the best efforts we can to pay all the claims within the given time-frame” said May Dawat, Chief Executive Officer of CARD MBA.

Relief efforts by CARD MRI

CARD MRI, a group of companies (including a bank, microinsurance provider and development institute) established to empower poor women in the countryside in the Philippines and to help alleviate poverty, allocated over USD 285,000 (PHP 15 million) for relief packs for all affected clients after these two recent events.

“We are glad to have responded immediately to the needs of our clients. Strategically, all our unit offices within the areas affected by the typhoon and tropical storm were packing relief goods to cover the clients they serve,” added Marilyn Manila.

The day after Urduja and Vinta had passed the Philippine Area of Responsibility (the area in the Northwestern Pacific where PAGASA, the Philippines' national meteorological agency monitors weather occurrences), all executive heads from the CARD organisations went straight to the affected areas to survey the status of their clients and operations.

“This was also our way of listening to our clients especially on the things they need, which we do not cover at the moment but might be a welcome initiative for us to consider in the future,” said Dr Jaime Aristotle B Alip, Founder and Chair of CARD MRI.

Picture shows: CARD MRI relief efforts, in the aftermath of tropical storm Urduja and typhoon Vinta.

This article and photo have been reproduced courtesy of CARD MRI.