Oro-based coop eyes property dev’t

AN insurance cooperative with roots in Cagayan de Oro City eyes to venture into property development this year, said a key official.

Climbs Life and General Insurance Cooperative president Fermin Gonzales said in an interview on Saturday that its real estate venture is expected to begin this year. Gonzales was in Cebu for the cooperative’s general assembly at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Cebu City.

In a disclosure in the Climbs Journal, Gonzales said the cooperative had earlier purchased a 1,798-square-meter lot in Barangay Bulua in Cagayan de Oro City for P2.7 million, where it is intending to construct three eight-floor condominiums for P200 million.

Gonzales described the real estate sector as the “sunshine industry” in Cagayan de Oro, saying he expects more construction activities to take place in the different parts of the city.

To implement the project, Gonzales said Climbs would have to tap at least 20 of its affiliate cooperatives to fund the project.

To date, the 44-year-old cooperative has 2,300 cooperative and individual members nationwide. In Cebu, it has close to 300 members, where it maintains its office at the Cebu CFI Community Cooperative building at the Capitol compound in Cebu City.

Climbs offers both life and non-life products. As an insurance cooperative, it is registered with both the Insurance Commission and the Cooperative Development Authority.

The cooperative has also established subsidiaries engaged in banking, printing press, asset management, and mutual fund business, among others.

In its 2014 annual report, Climbs said it has paid P250 million worth of claims during typhoons Sendong, Pablo, Yolanda, and the Bohol earthquake. Of the amount, P150 million was paid out to Yolanda victims.

The cooperative is also a member of the International Cooperative & Mutual Federation (ICMIF), Asia Oceania Association of ICMIF (AOA); the Philippine Life Insurance Association (PLIA) and an associate member of the National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO).

In addition, Climbs is in partnership with Philippine Prudential Life Insurance Company as its re-insurer for life products, Malayan Insurance for non-life products and Munich RE as its international partner in natural catastrophe insurance. Its subsidiary, Coop Life General Insurance and Financial Services Agency (CLIFSA), acts as a general agent for its non-life, pre-need and health care products.

According to Gonzales, Climbs holds an asset size of almost P2 billion and a total net worth of over P1 billion.

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