When the lockdown was declared in mid-March, Cocolife President and CEO, Atty. Jose Martin Azcárraga Loon, opted to work at the company’s Ayala Avenue office rather than from home. Together with his team, they ensured that the company could continue to serve its policyholders
As they set up camp in the office, they were able to attend to client concerns and coordinate with other employees working from home. During this period, they were able to establish a sustainable working arrangement to adapt to the crisis. It was a necessary undertaking that showed the company’s resilience.
“The crises and calamities we’ve overcome in the past, at least for my generation, didn’t last this long,” he says. “Also, we are affective human beings. Therefore, the inability to personally connect with each other is really a challenge.”President and CEO Atty. Martin Loon
But the 33-year old CEO believes that although the pandemic is unprecedented, it isn’t insurmountable. He’s counting on the reason why Cocolife has been resilient through 42 years: its core principle of “Believing in the Filipino.”
“It’s the values we share, the empathy we have for each other, for the Filipino,” Martin says. When the coronavirus outbreak worsened, he drew from these values, which have kept Cocolife strong all these years. “Our priority is to take care of our people and policyholders.”President and CEO Atty. Martin Loon
These values were the very same that Martin grew up with. In his early life, he saw his parents raise seven children while serving the country and its people.
His father, retired Marine Colonel Ariel Querubin, is a recipient of the Medal of Valor, the highest military honor in the Philippines. His mother, Pong, raised the children and stood by her husband in the family’s most difficult times.
Martin went to Ateneo de Manila University, which instilled the creed of being a “man for others.” He developed an interest in law, and was guided by the belief that justice should be accessible to all and not just to the privileged few. He believed that no one should be left behind. He took up law at the University of the Philippines, where he was a member of the Order of the Purple Feather (the UP Law Honor Society), the University Student Council, and the Sigma Rho Fraternity. He then attended Georgetown University where he earned his Master of Laws.
He then built a prodigious legal career and built a law firm in 2019, one that was awarded the Best New Law Firm by the Asia Business Law Journal. By then, he was able to work alongside some of the country’s most prominent legal minds as he became the youngest member of the Consultative Committee that reviewed the 1987 Constitution.
During the pandemic, Cocolife was able to grant its health card members full coverage for COVID-19 related hospitalizations, subject to policy terms and regular reviews. The company has also provided hospital income benefits to affected life insurance policies, and has extended the grace period for all premium dues to 61 days.
Cocolife also established 24/7 helplines and a special ground force to help provide assistance when people needed it most. It has also helped ramp up COVID-19 testing efforts by donating to the UP National Institute of Health for the purchase of an RT-PCR machine. In addition, Cocolife contributed to government and NGO efforts, sending donations such as food, disinfectants, and face masks.
Read the full article on Esquire here.