RBAP partners with ILO & Gates Foundation to expand microinsurance to millions of low income Filipinos

Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP) research and training arm, the Rural Bankers Research and Development Foundation, Inc. (RBRDFI), will receive a US$ 100,000 grant from the International Labour Organization (ILO) under the Microinsurance Innovation Facility. This collaboration aims to support RBAP members in partnering with insurance companies to offer microinsurance.

Press release | 25 August 2010

Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP) research and training arm, the Rural Bankers Research and Development Foundation, Inc. (RBRDFI), will receive a US$ 100,000 grant from the International Labour Organization (ILO) under the Microinsurance Innovation Facility. This collaboration aims to support RBAP members in partnering with insurance companies to offer microinsurance.

Housed at the ILO's Social Finance Programme, the Microinsurance Innovation Facility seeks to increase the availability of quality insurance for the developing world’s low-income families, helping them guard against risks and overcome poverty. The Facility was launched in 2008 with the support of a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

This new partnership with the ILO will support training and technical assistance for rural banks to become licensed microinsurance agents. It will help provide microinsurance access to over 1 million low-income rural banks clients and their 3 million dependents. This initiative will also support RBRDFI in offering a turnkey approach to ensure rural banks’ cost-efficient compliance with licensing and capability-building requirements as institutional microinsurance agents. Rural banks will facilitate marketing, selling and servicing of microinsurance, with the commercial insurance companies issuing the policies.

With over 2,700 rural bank branches and other banking offices (OBOs) nationwide serving more than one million micro and low income borrowers, along with almost 6 million deposit account holders, rural banks (RBs) are best-positioned to facilitate access to formal microinsurance services in the countryside. Seeing this opportunity, RBAP submitted various proposals to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Insurance Commission (IC) for the formulation of supportive policies and regulations for microinsurance using the partner-agent microinsurance model for RBs. This effort resulted in the issuance of the BSP Circular 683 (23 February 2010), which allows RBs to partner with insurance companies in offering microinsurance.

To support this effort, RBAP, through its USAID-supported Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (MABS) programme, developed strategic alliances with 6 insurance companies and 3 specialized microinsurance brokers. These alliances are geared to help rural banks forge partnerships to be able to offer microinsurance services to their microenterprise and low income client base.

RBAP-MABS has already arranged seminars with all the interested insurance companies and has held workshops in July for member rural banks interested in initiating the licensing process to become microinsurance agents.

For further information please contact:


Ms Minette Rimando

ILO Country Office for the Philippines
Tel: +63 2 580 9905 / 580 9900
Email