P85M paid to drought-hit Western Visayas farmers

ILOILO City – The state-owned Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC) already released some P85 million to 12,000 farmers in Western Visayas affected by the El Niño phenomenon.

PCIC regional director Eva Laud said the drought crop insurance indemnity covered the January to May 27, 2019 period.

They are now processing an additional P13 million for around 4,000 farmers.

“Once this is completed, the amount will reach around P113 million for 15,224 farmers,” said Laud.

Broken down, the recipients of the indemnity will be:

* Aklan – P5.442 million for 801 farmers

* Antique – P6.578 million for 969 farmers

* Capiz – P17.569 million for 2,108 farmers

* Guimaras – P10.219 million for 1,503 farmers

* Iloilo – P68.248 million for 9,039 farmers

* Negros Occidental – P4.754 million for 804 farmers

Laud said only those who applied for insurance or have submitted their application for crop insurance are eligible for the claims.

They are farmers who planted crops during the last cropping season or from November 2018 to February 2019 period.

Each farmer will get some P8,000 to P9,000 per hectare.

The claims given through checks are being released by the PCIC to their respective municipalities.

With this, Laud emphasized the sustained campaign of their office for farmers to visit their local government unit technicians and agriculture officer to apply for crop insurance, especially that some farmers have already started planting crops.

“They should apply for crop insurance so they can avail of assistance from the government in cases of calamities,” she said.

PCIC does not set a deadline for them to apply. Farmers can submit their forms once they have planted their crops.

An attached agency of the Department of Agriculture, PCIC’s principal mandate is to provide insurance protection to farmers against losses arising from natural calamities, plant diseases and pest infestations.

PCIC also provides protection against damage to / loss of non-crop agricultural assets including but not limited to machineries, transport facilities and other related infrastructures due to peril/s insured against.

The Philippines is vulnerable to natural disasters which cause devastation to crops and miseries to agricultural producers and lenders of agricultural credit.

Because of the marginality of most landholdings, the result of these losses is devastating to the finances of farmers.

In 1976, an Interagency Committee for the Development of Crop Insurance during the Marcos administration undertook a nine-month full-blown feasibility study on the creation of a crop insurance program.

It was concluded that the agricultural insurance system could address not only the welfare aspect of the after-loss event but also help in achieving the objective of stabilizing farm incomes and reverse the “risk-averse” nature of farmers and push them to invest more in new technologies that would help increase national productivity.

Apart from protecting farmers from financial losses, crop insurance was also considered as an instrument that can be offered as “surrogate” collateral to banks and other financial institutions to influence and encourage them to continue participating and supporting government credit programs.

The study ushered in the creation of PCIC and the operationalization of the insurance program through the issuance of Presidential Decree No. 1467 promulgated on June 11, 1978./PN


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