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BBM: DOF takeover of crop insurance firm unfair to farmers

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The takeover of the state-run crop insurance firm by the Department of Finance (DOF) should not result in placing farmers at a disadvantage, former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos said yesterday.

Taking the cudgels for farmers, Marcos questioned the DOF’s takeover of the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC) from the Department of Agriculture (DA) and called for a review of Executive Order No. 148 which set it in motion.

Underscoring that the PCIC was formed to provide insurance protection to farmers against losses arising from natural disasters, plant diseases and pest infestation, Marcos asked: “Why does it need to be transferred to the DOF when it is the DA which knows the situation in the agriculture sector better?”

The former lawmaker noted that farmers, through the Federation of Free Farmers, have expressed apprehension that under the DOF, the PCIC’s priority will shift to fiscal and monetary concerns which may not necessarily be supportive of the needs of farmers and the DA.

“The apprehension of farmers must be considered since they are the sector affected here. They should have been consulted,” Marcos said.

In seeking a review of EO 148, he said “policy and program coordination, and general supervision” should be revisited in a bid to ensure that government assets and resources are used effectively.

Last Sunday, the DOF announced that it is no longer keen on privatizing the crop insurance firm but is mulling over involving the private sector for reinsurance.

It added that involving the private sector in reinsurance would bode well for farmers because re-insurance will most likely allow the expansion of coverage to more farmers and more crops and livestock.

BONGBONG MARCOS

DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE

FARMER

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