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Sun Life addresses needs of vulnerable businesses, OFWs

/ 04:04 AM June 29, 2020

Insurance giant Sun Life of Canada has intensified programs that seek to help small business owners and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) better navigate the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We are trying to do our share in helping the country persevere amid this pandemic and look forward to a brighter future despite the odds,” Sun Life Philippines chief executive and country head Benedict Sison said at a press briefing last week.

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Sison said the health crisis has called upon Sun Life, which is celebrating its 125th year of doing business in the Philippines this year, to fulfill in “unexpected ways” its core mission of securing the future of Filipinos.

Apart from creating new products that address clients’ needs, Sison said the group was continuously training financial advisors.

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Cary Casipit, Sun Life Philippines marketing business support head, said one key thrust of the group was to be a “helping hand” to micro, small and medium enterprises and OFWs, two sectors that contribute greatly to the domestic economy but are among the most vulnerable at this time.

But even before the pandemic, these sectors are already facing challenges, which include balancing the business, managing debt and liquidity/cash flow risks, looking after employees’ welfare and well-being, future-proofing personal and business goals, diversifying assets, ensuring productivity and putting in place business continuity and succession planning.

Casipit said under the “Sun Future-Proof for Business Owners” program, Sun Life was offering fora and webinars for business owners and rolling out a specialized advisor learning program on family business governance and succession planning, the first of its kind in the local insurance industry. Employee benefits and financial wellness programs are likewise in place.

Sun Life has also designed a training module for advisors to make sure they are ready to serve business owners and learn the intricacies of a family business.

“It’s not just about selling our products to them but what can insurance products do to be able to address the business owners’ needs,” he said.

For OFWs, Capisit said the “Home for Good” program intended to educate not only the OFWs but also their family members.

“Many of them attempt to come home, but after a while, once they have used up their savings, they leave again. In this program, what we intend to do is to really help them come up with a plan for the entire family and help them come home for good,” he said. —DORIS DUMLAO-ABADILLA INQ

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