Filipinos eschew security for instant gratification | Inquirer Business

Filipinos eschew security for instant gratification

Filipinos may be making more money now because of the economy’s growth, but many still prefer to gratify themselves instantly instead of securing their financial future, a new survey showed.

In the face of major medical emergencies, such as heart attacks or strokes, Filipinos will rely more on money from family members, informal loans, or dip into their savings to pay for hospital bills. Few have insurance or even health maintenance organization (HMO) coverage.

“With so few holding life insurance, and even fewer holding investments, there’s a need for Filipinos to do more to protect their future,” said Riza Mantaring, who leads Sun Life’s operations in the Philippines.


According to a new Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey commissioned by Canadian insurance giant Sun Life, six of 10 Filipinos said they were either fully or partly prepared for major medical emergencies. These include heart ailments, cancer, or strokes, which can cost up to P2.7 million to treat.


To cover hospital bills, 40 percent of adults said they would rely on their spouses’ income, while 44 percent said they would get money from either their business income or salaries.

This shows lack of sound financial planning among Filipinos, Mantaring said.

Nearly a quarter would rely on Philhealth government benefits, while 14 percent would use bank savings. Only 5 percent of the people surveyed said they had insurance for hospital bills, while another 5 percent cited HMO coverage.

Readiness for medical bills also varied depending on the gravity of the emergency. For bills under P50,000, half of the people surveyed said their finances could handle the cost. Only 7 in 10 could pay for bills of up to P500,000, while just 1 in 10 could manage with bills of over P500,000.

At the end of 2014, only 1.2 percent of Filipinos had any form of insurance coverage, Mantaring said.

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TAGS: financial planning, Health, Insurance, Life insurance, SWS survey

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