PCIC-8 continues free insurance implementation for agri sector amid COVID-19 pandemic
TACLOBAN CITY, June 5 (PIA) – The Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation in Region 8 (PCIC-8) continues the implementation of the government’s free agricultural insurance program even during the current health crisis.
This was disclosed by PCIC-8 Officer-in-Charge Beta Alberto during the “Suruswerte ha PIA” radio and TV program hosted by the Philippine Information Agency Regional Director Olive Tiu.
According to Alberto, the free agricultural insurance is a government’s program intended for farmers and fisherfolks who are among those in the Registry System for Basic Sector in Agriculture (RSBSA). This is to indemnify them whenever damage are incurred.
“Those registered farmers and fisherfolks in the region could avail of free insurance coverage for rice, corn, high-value crops, livestock, fishery and non-crop products,” Alberto said.
She added, “Life insurance for said agriculture stakeholders could likewise be availed of, however, minimal premium payment is required.”
For the amount of coverage, the PCIC officer informed that rice and corn is covered with P20,000 per hectare, while the indemnity for high-value crops depends on the cost of production such as the use of fertilizers, among others.
Aside from the crops, the office also insures livestock or farm animals such as carabao, cow, hog, goat and chicken.
For carabaos, the government offers P15,000 insurance per head, while hogs for fattening get P7,000 but with at least 45 days of age. Hogs for breeding get P10,000 per head from 6 months to one year. Goats on the other hand are entitled to P2,500 to P6,000 per head, depending on the type or breed.
Alberto also said that fish ponds with area of at least 2,500 square meters are likewise covered by the insurance, same as fish cages with maximum area of 1 sq. m. Seaweed farm is also included but depends on the cost of production inputs.
She added that fishing boats for a maximum of three units also get the coverage, provided owners are registered at their respective municipalities and that boats are licensed to operate. Fiber glass fishing boats are covered with P40,000 per unit, motorized at P15,000 and non-motorized ones at P5,000.
For the agency’s accident and dismemberment security scheme, a farmer or fisherman 15-70 years old and in good health, may pay P50 for one year P50,000 coverage, or may double the premium should he wants the P100,000 insurance value.
Another program the agency has been offering is the Agricultural Stakeholders Protection (ASP) Plan that covers accident, murder, assault and nature-caused damage, where they may pay a P375 premium in one year.
In the Eastern Visayas region, PCIC disclosed that there are about P1.04 million registered farmers and fisherfolks, however, only 60,667 have availed of the program.
Meanwhile, as of May 2020, PCIC has already released P11.6 million worth of checks to more than 3,000 farmers, especifically in Northern and Eastern Samar provinces. This is to indemnify damage caused by Typhoon Ursula last December 2019. However, per information, the office is still in progress of processing an amount of P10.3-M for distribution to more than 2,600 farmers.
For Typhoon Ambo that was experienced recently, there were already 1,800 individuals who have filed for damage and the office is set to pay more or less P17-M.
The PCIC official encouraged all farmers and fisherfolks to avail of the program in order to be protected in case something bad will happen to the agricultural products.
“I hope all farmers and fishermen will avail of our program, and that the government should continue with the premium subsidy for all farmers and fishermen, as the free insurance program has only started after the Yolanda tragedy. In the previous years, farmers were paying for the premiums,” Alberto said.
PIA Director Olive Tiu is also optimistic farmers would realize the importance and need for insurance, considering that agriculture stakeholders are the ones who provide food for the people, as proven during the quarantine times. (LDL/GTT-PIA-Leyte)