THERE are hundreds of weird stories happening over at the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation, the government agency mandated to provide insurance protection to farmers against losses arising from natural calamities, natural diseases and pest infestations.
There were cases of crop harvests before planting, grains seedlings transplanted before they are even sown, and insurance expiring before they can even take effect. Government auditors assigned them an official name – system deficiencies.
“A review of the CPR (Consolidated Premium Registers) disclosed 330 insurance covers were issued with expiry dates earlier than effectivity dates. Further, a total of 47 official receipts for CYs 2016 and 2017 were included in the CPR for CY 2019,” the Commission on Audit (COA) noted in the 2019 audit report on PCIC.
These included insurance on grain crops like rice and corn, high value crops, and livestock raising.
Moreover, there were also 50 cases where transplant dates were recorded earlier than sowing date. Stranger still, auditors found cases where harvest dates were earlier than the transplant date.
All the findings were not only of the odd kind however as auditors also found hints of common irregularities, such as insurance coverage for landholdings more than the maximum five hectares allowed under the 2019 General Appropriations Act.
In the Ilocos, Southern Tagalog, and Northern Mindanao regions, rice lands ranging from 6.5 to 14 hectares were covered by government insurance.
A rice field measuring 16 hectares was likewise covered, also in Northern Mindanao.
But five farms for high value crops located in Eastern Visayas left everyone in the dust, securing insurance production coverage for five parcels of land with each measuring 35 hectares.