CATARMAN, Northern Samar-Senator Cynthia Villar said that she will be introducing a legislative measure that would provide relief assistance to farmers in times of calamities.
This way, affected farmers and their respective families would no longer wait for the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to provide them relief assistance, Villar, who chairs the Senate’s committee on agriculture and food, said during an interview Thursday (June 14).
Villar was in this provincial capital of Northern Samar where majority of its people depends on agriculture to speak during the 7th Annual International Conference on Environmental Sciences held at the gymnasium of the University of Eastern Philippines (UEP).
The senator said that her measure, once approved, could provide relief to farmers hit by a natural calamity.
Villar said that she is still making some fine-tuning on this proposal like its mechanism and how much the government will allocate for this scheme.
“Bibigyan sila ng free insurance against calamity para sa ganun, pag sila ay tinamaan ng calamity, magki-claim sila sa insurance company, di na sila pipila sa DSWD,” Villar said.
She added that there are instances that farmers are being left out during calamity-giving assistance but this measure, they are sure to receive the assistance.
“(But)we just have to know how much will cost us and what budget we will put in the (proposed) law to cover the free calamity insurance for crops of our farmers,” Villar said.
“We will be asking the private sector to participate in this,” she added, referring to private insurance companies.
Jun Berino, secretary-general of the Samahan han mga Gugti na Parag-uma (Sagupa), a regional farmers’ group, welcome this proposed measure of Villar.
“We welcome this proposal of Sen.Villar and we just hope that this will become a reality because farmers really need all the help that our government could provide to them,” Berino, in a phone interview, said.
Potentially, if this Villar proposal becomes a law, around 3 million farmers, to include their dependents, from the region could benefit this.
Berino said that farmers in the region continue to grapple economic difficulties after the Eastern Visayas was devastated by super typhoon ‘Yolanda’ in 2013.
“They have yet to fully recover, to include those engaging in the abaca and copra production,” he said. (JOEY A. GABIETA)