Free agri-insurance coverage to marginal farmers until 2022
By Rey Anthony H. Chiu
TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, May 17 (PIA)—But did you know that there is a free government insurance coverage for crops, livestock, fisheries and even non-agricultural assets for small subsistence farmers who are plowing the fields for food security?
But, this is not automatic to all farmers, they have to apply for it, says Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation’s (PCIC) division chief Aniceto Rebayla over at the recent Kapihan sa PIA.
In the government’s efforts to motivate farmers into food production, it is giving, those that carry the burden of feeding the nation, enough safeguards and protection for cropping failure in these times when the world is so messed up and against the effects of climate change, PCIC said.
Through the PCIC, the government is now extending agricultural insurance to palay, corn, high value crops, livestock, fisheries and even non-crop agricultural assets from natural disasters, accidents and loss of the above mentioned assets through natural causes.
Speaking at the Kapihan sa PIA, Rocky Tidon of PHIC Bohol Tagbilaran City Service Office, said the government has allocated funds for the free insurance coverage of those who were in during the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA).
With Tidon at the radio forum which was aired over DyTR were PCIC Regional Office personnel under Boholano Regional Director Crescencio Deligero Jr.: Aniceto Rebayla and Felix Rosales.
For example, PCIC gives out P20,000.00 multi-risk insurance for every hectare of palay and corn per cropping from planting to harvest.
By multi-risk, PCIC means natural disasters like droughts, typhoons, floods, earthquakes and major pests and diseases like rice blast, sheath blight, bacterial leaf blight, grassy, ragged stunting and tungro or pests like armyworm, stem borer, rats, rice bugs, black bugs and plant hoppers.
For corn, PCIC insures against diseases like bacterial stalk rot, downy mildew, or pests like locust, corn borer, army worm, cutworm and rats, according to Rebayla.
Aside from rice and corn, PCIC also covers High Value Crops like mango at P3,000 per tree, coconut at P280.00 per tree, banana at P100.00 per plant, and separate packages for vegetables.
The insurance covers a maximum of five hectares for all crops combined for each household, a minimum of ten trees and a maximum of 100 for each applicant, according to the PCIC.
For livestock, PCIC insures 7 months old to 17 years old cattle, carabao for P15,000, one year to 12 years old horse for P15,00.00, six months to four years old swine raised for breeding at P7,000, 45 days old to 6 months old swine for fattening at P5,000 and four months old to seven years old goat at P3,000.
Per household, the maximum number of livestock heads for coverage is 10 for cattle, carabao and horses, 10 heads for swine breeding, 20 heads for swine fattening, 25 heads for goats, and for poultry: 50-5,000 heads broiler, 50-1000 heads layers and pullets insured per prevailing market.
For fisheries, PCIC also insures fish cages of up to a maximum of 1,000 square meters (sqm), inland fishponds for 2,500 sqm (maximum) and seaweed farms of 1,000 sqm (maximum).
In fact, because fisheries can also be dependent on non-crop assets, PCIC also insures fishing boats of three units of either motorized or non-motorized at P40,000 to P5,000 respectively.
To avail of the benefits, sustenance farmers only need to get to the nearest Municipal Agriculture Office to check on their names on the list of eligible farmers for the insurance coverage, says Rebayla, who added that the PCIC is partnering with LGUS and other government offices to better implement this at the grassroots.
What happens when one farmer is not on the list?
PCIC Rosales said the government has still one portfolio for these marginal farmers: Republic Act 10000 or the Agri-Agra Reform Credit Act.
Agri-agra Reform Credit Act mandates banks to allot at least 10% of its total loanable funds to agrarian reform beneficiaries and 15% for farmers and fisherfolks.
Now at the disposal of PCIC, farmers can tap this fund to help them tide up amidst the long dry season that the state weather bureau has said, could go until two more months. ‘
The insurance portfolio has been set up by the Department of Budget and Management, of which Central Visayas has been allocated P286 million, Rebayla said. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)