Better farm insurance pushed


    Farm groups are appealing for a better farm insurance system to cover all crucial sectors of the country’s agriculture stakeholders.

    In an online briefing, Asis Perez, convenor of Tugon Kabuhayan, said farm insurance should take into consideration the damage to homes and machineries of farmers brought about by inclement weather.

    Perez said damage will be minimized if weather-resistant post-harvest and storage facilities will be constructed nearer to the farms.

    Rene Cerilla, policy advocacy leader of the Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka, said traditional varieties of crops are currently not covered with insurance which only protects select varieties.

    Cerilla said the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC) should increase its presence in the regions for faster processing of insurance applications and claims.

    Rosendo So, chairman of the Samahang Industriya ng Argrikultura, said government should provide guaranteed and automatic risk coverage to all producers as extreme climate hazards will be the new normal.

    “There is a need to radically increase the budget of PCIC and accomplish its mandate of providing insurance to farmers against losses arising from natural calamities but we want a transparent and accountable insurance system that will truly benefit the small farmers in times of calamities; and not the pockets of those running the system,” he said.

    So said PCIC’s hP3.5-billion budget this year should be increased five-fold to cater to all stakeholders. – J. Macapagal