Ting said House Bill 5273 aims to indemnify cash-strapped local government units, which often bear the onslaught of harsh weather disturbances.
He cited, for instance, the extensive damage done by supertyphoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) on infrastructure and properties owned by the local government units.
"Unlike agencies of the national government which insured their properties and were indemnified by the GSIS for damages wrought by Typhoon Yolanda, many of the damaged properties belong to municipalities below first class, which were not insured," said Ting, a member of the National Unity Party (NUP).
Under Ting’s measure, Section 5 of Republic Act 656 also known as the Property Insurance Law, would be amended to include municipalities below first class in the coverage of the General Insurance Fund.
The national, provincial, city and municipal governments, except municipalities below first class, are required to insure their properties with the General Insurance Fund against any insurable risk and to pay the premiums as stated under RA 656.
RA 656 makes it only optional for municipalities below first class to insure their properties subject to the rules and regulations issued by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS)."
“The common experience of municipalities suffering the brunt of several typhoons and other disasters, whether natural or human-induced, makes it imperative for municipalities below first class to insure their respective properties. It is to their best interest if their properties are insured rather than be exposed to the risk of non-indemnification in case of damage during a disaster," Ting said.
Municipalities below first-class are often left at the mercy of the national government, financial donors and their meager budgets to be able to pay for the repair, rehabilitation, or re-construction of their damaged properties, he pointed out.
Ting said that to amend RA 656, the phrase, "except a municipal government below first class" and the sentence, "A municipal government below first class may upon application insure its properties in the Fund under such rules and regulations as the System may prescribe" would both be deleted.
The GSIS is mandated to promulgate the necessary rules and regulations for the effective implementation of the proposed law.