P2.4 million crop insurance claims given to 396 farmers
Lalaine Marcos (The Freeman) - August 5, 2018 - 12:00am

ORMOC CITY, Philippines —  A total of P2.4-million in crop insurance claims was released to 396 farmers from Ormoc City and nearby towns last Thursday afternoon by the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC) as indemnity for their crop losses from various pests and diseases in April and May, this year.

 

PCIC vice president Antonio Uy II, former PCIC board director for private sector Dr. Epifanio Maniebo, and, PCIC-Region 8 OIC regional director Nilo Pesquera administered the distribution.

Pesquera said the indemnity claims were mostly for losses from various diseases that affected the crops in the April and May, this year, and for losses due to typhoon Urduja in December 2017.

Uy, on the other hand, said the indemnity comes from a P3.5 billion budget that the national government allocated for PCIC, including P1 billion from penalties imposed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on rural agricultural banks that did not lend out their funds to farmers.

Uy however said that, while the national government is subsidizing the premiums for qualified farmers and fisherfolks, the allocation is not enough to cover everybody, thus PCIC is encouraging local government units to also take part in paying farmers' insurance premiums, similar to Cebu province.

Last year, the Cebu provincial government allotted P 37 million to cover the premiums of farmers and fishermen in that province, added Uy.

Coverage for subsistence farmers, it was learned, became free since 2014. These are for farmers with three hectares or less of lands or livestock raisers with 10 heads below for large animals or 15 heads below for small ruminants and swine. Subsistence fishermen are also covered, he said.

It was also learned that the PCIC is continuing to register farmers and fishermen in their database, and are encouraging “real” farmers and fishermen to register with the agriculture offices of their LGUs.

Uy said that they got their initial listing for the free coverage from the LGUs, but are culling unqualified people from it like farmworkers. They are also partnering with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) so that agrarian reform beneficiaries are automatically covered.

“Our funds right now is not enough to cover every (legitimate) farmer and fisherman if registered,” Uy said, but he noted that, despite the calamities, there was never been a time that the PCIC subsidy got exhausted in paying off claims.

Pesquera, meanwhile, announced that PCIC is putting up offices in all provinces of Eastern Visayas, including one in Ormoc, a chartered, independent city.

CROP FARMER
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