Thursday, August 19, 2010

PCIC Strengthens Crop Insurance in Western Visayas

The Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC) is strengthening and expanding its crop insurance in the country by enrolling more farmers and products under its coverage.
This was announced by PCIC president Jovy Bernabe during the inauguration and blessing of the PCIC regional office at the Department of Agriculture com-pound in Iloilo City on Aug. 12, 2010.

Bernabe disclosed that a proposed P10-billion capitalization in 2011 will set off the expanded coverage from its P2 billion in 2009 in a move to cover P3 billion for rice and corn and P2 billion for other crops, including livestock for 100,000 farmers. Insurance for high value crops and fruits are also covered.

The insurance coverage will cover all crop production destroyed by natural calamities, including plant pests and diseases, and index-based insurance that covers rainfall patterns with a government subsidized premium of 60 percent and another 40 percent to be paid by farmers.

In Western Visayas, PCIC performance showed a total of P134 million insurance covering P48 million for 265 hectares by 7,000 farmers with 5 hectares or less each. The region is projected to increase production by 10 percent but rampant natural calamities will greatly affect crop production, Bernabe said.

PCIC also paid P1.9 million to farmers in the region whose crops were destroyed by Typhoon Frank in 2008. Similarly, P1.5 million was paid to Igbaras, Iloilo farmers under its fire accident insurance coverage.

On the other hand, Bernabe said the PCIC remains steadfast with its mission to serve the insurance needs of farmers under the administration of President Benigno Aquino III.

An attached agency of the Department of Agriculture, it is under the Salary Standardization Law and there is no proposal so far, for its abolition as it is the only government body that insures the crops of farmers.

Aquaculture Insurance

On the other hand, agriculture stakeholders engaging in aquaculture will soon be included in the crop insurance coverage of the PCIC.

According to the PCIC officer-in-charge Charlito O. Brilleta, the PCIC is just waiting for the fund for the program to take off following its approval. It is expected that it will kick off within the year.

At present, the PCIC offers six major insurance coverages to palay, corn, 44 high value commercial crops, agricultural facilities, and farmer members.

While waiting for the new program, farmers are encouraged to visit agriculture offices of local government units should they wanted to learn more about programs made available to them by the PCIC.

Brilleta said, they have accredited under writers from LGUs as well as farmer cooperatives who can help them should they take interest of availing with the various PCIC insurance programs. (PNA) /MP

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