TACLOBAN CITY – The Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) has already released P22.2 million indemnity claims to 4,435 farmers in the region this year. Most of the recipients are farmers who suffered losses due to pest infestation, diseases, and dry spell affecting rice, corn, and high value crops production. These farmers who received the claims from January 1 to July 18 are the Registry System for Basic Sector in Agriculture (RSBSA) program with premiums sponsored by the Department of Agriculture (DA) and local government units (LGUs). “Although the drought slightly hit some parts of the region, majority of claims are caused by damages brought by pest and disease infestation,” said PCIC Regional Manager Dominico Digamon. Last year, the PCIC paid more indemnity at P30 million during the first semester. The higher amount is largely contributed to increase in the number of farms covered with insurance due to free premiums after disaster. “We are still hoping to surpass our performance last year with the commitment of support from the DA and LGUs.Also, farmers now are more aware of the impacts of disaster and the need for crop insurance,” Digamon said. A farmer pays P890 for every single hectare covered. Once damaged, they will get up to P10,000 indemnity. The government’s crop indemnity program provides insurance protection to agricultural producers against loss of the crops on the account of natural calamities, plant pests and disease, and other perils.
Rice remains the major program but PCIC also covers corn, high value commercial crops, livestock, fisheries, non-crop farm products, term insurance power program, and death benefits for those with insured rice and corn farms.