APRIL 2023 — In November of 2022, the Co-operative College of the Philippines and CLIMBS Life and General Insurance Cooperative conducted the COOP Climate Summit 2022: Cooperatives for Climate Action & Education, hosted by Cindy Obeñita (Miss Intercontinental 2021) and moderated by Donna C. Dizon, the Co-operative College of the Philippines’ CEO and Principal and concurrent Vice President for Admin and Corporate Planning in CLIMBS. 

At the summit, experts from varying financial institutions in both the private and public sectors spoke on the definitive need to address climate change and its effects on the Philippine economy—particularly, the vulnerable populations that work in agriculture and aquaculture. CLIMBS also shared their goal of insuring 20 million Filipino lives by 2024; as of 2021, they have reached well over six million.

It is precisely the pressing need for CLIMBS’ microinsurance and tailored packages that should prompt the public to ask themselves more in-depth questions about their own finances and how to manage them. These particular services are available to farmers and fishermen for them to insure themselves against more destitute seasons or natural disasters; to provide their children with opportunities for higher education; meanwhile, over 40% of the Philippine population are reportedly unbanked.

While this statistic is shrinking due to, among other solutions, digital banking and insurance companies’ changing degrees of accessibility, that number is still reflective of what can be described as a cultural misgiving of the tools necessary to improve the adult population’s quality of life and that of the generation after them, as well as the lack of resources to dispel the apprehension. In more straightforward data, it is estimated that only 25% of Filipinos can be considered financially literate. And so the majority of the country remains not only underserved, but also dangerously unaware of the ways in which their money can do more, or even of where their money goes.

It is also in the interest of climate justice—one of CLIMBS’ focus points—that Filipinos should be enabled to improve their quality of life independently and with confidence. Although local government units have already partnered with other organizations to help better our overall financial literacy, especially among the youth, those of us with access to more should be all the more curious when it comes to how green our money can really be.

With the market opportunities opening up to smaller, even individual investors, the world of finance seems to be changing faster than anyone can keep up with—but it still pays to ask these questions. “Which insurance package is actually best for me?” “Am I saving after spending, or spending after I’ve saved? What difference does it make?” “Who am I actually helping with my financial participation?” To find out more about their products and services, or how you can do your part to help the underserved, you can contact CLIMBS Life and General Insurance Cooperative or visit their website.

Liked this post? Follow SwirlingOverCoffee on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.