Senator Chiz Escudero says razed Manila Central Post Office should use its PHP604 million insurance fund to rebuild

Images: Richmond Chi / Manila Fire Station
Images: Richmond Chi / Manila Fire Station

The Manila Central Post Office must use its fire insurance fund — all PHP604 million (US$10.8 million) to be exact — to rebuild after a massive blaze razed the historic structure earlier this week, Senator Chiz Escudero said.

The senator stressed the need to collect insurance money before using any budgeted funds, adding that the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) is the state insurance company responsible for insuring government properties. 

Meanwhile, the GSIS has confirmed that the Manila Central Post Office Building is insured for PHP604 million through a pension fund.

RA 656 or the Property Insurance Law states that government agencies, except for some local governments, must insure their properties with the GSIS. Even government-involved public-private partnership projects should be insured through the GSIS.

In 2018, the Commission on Audit (COA) issued a directive for government agencies to comply with the law after finding instances of insufficient or missing insurance coverage. The Philippine Postal Corporation (PhilPost) allocated PHP21 million (US$375,482) for insurance premiums this year, including fire insurance premiums worth PHP25.8 million (US$461,749).

Escudero urged people to immediately file insurance claims to fund the restoration of the Post Office building and co-government agencies to ensure their assets are adequately insured with the GSIS, following the COA’s instructions.

While saddened by the incident, Escudero remained hopeful that the Post Office building could be rebuilt quickly.

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