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EXECUTIVES of the Manufacturers Life Insurance Co. (Manulife Philippines) said technology played a key role in enabling it to withstand the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Technology remains a key driver in the financial sector including the insurance industry,” Manulife Philippines Chief Legal and Compliance Officer Fritzie T. Fabricante told the BusinessMirror.

Fabricante said the insurer has been on a “proactive mode” as far as digitalization is concerned.

She explained the firm had already done some digital innovations even before the pandemic hit the country in 2020. However, the company had to fast track because of the pandemic. She said the company had to implement steps such as non face-to-face selling.

“At the same time, we had to ensure our policies are aligned with the regulations of the Philippines insurance industry primarily to address the needs of the client,” Fabricante said.

“At the same time, Manulife made sure to protect the client’s data and information, guard cybersecurity breaches and comply with the new regulations,” she added.

At the same time, Fabricante said the company has to maintain regulatory compliance. She said the leaders of the legal teams, general counsels and chief compliance officers regularly meet to fine-tune business plans.

Fabricante commended the Insurance Commission for helping the insurance associations and companies to come up with the regulations that are suited for the times. She added that the constant meetings between the regulator and the industry players enabled them to review the existing processes and able to address the need for digital transformation and digital innovations.

She considered the transition for Manulife as “fast” as it was able to work with the different units to determine the company’s and the clients’ needs during the pandemic.

Fabricante emphasized that re-skilling and re-tooling are very important to remain relevant in the current business environment.

“We don’t need the pandemic to pursue and implement these initiatives because it is embedded in the Manulife system,” Fabricante said.