The crop insurance arm of the Department of Agriculture (DA) has set aside some P732 million to compensate insured farmers for losses they incurred due to Typhoon Lando.
In a report to Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC) President Jovy Bernabe said he instructed staff members to assist affected farmers and speed up the processing of damage claims in less than the 20-day regulation period.
The typhoon destroyed ready-to-harvest rice, corn and high-value commercial crops in several provinces in Luzon for several days starting October 17.
A rapid assessment conducted by the PCIC’s regional offices in over seven regions and 34 provinces, showed that about 95,000 hectares of insured farms that are owned or operated by 110,000 farmers were damaged.
“Total indemnity payment required for affected farmers was estimated at some P732 million,” Bernabe said.
The rice sector suffered the most, with 89,786 farmers tilling some 77,165 hectares posted an estimated loss of over P513 million.
There are at least 17,793 farmers and about 16,863 hectares affected in the high-value commercial crops sector with an estimated loss of over P116 million. For the corn sector, at least 391 farmers and over 415 hectares were affected with total estimated damage pegged at P1.640 million.
Among the regions, the most affected in terms of number of farmers were Region I, with 40,226 farmers affected; followed by Region III, 32,715 and then Region II with 10,568.
In terms of hectares of crops, the most affected was Region III, with at least 32,793 hectares of mostly rice lands destroyed, followed by Region I with 22,058 hectares and Region II with 12,085 hectares.
For estimated losses, Region III topped the list with P385.684 million, followed by Region I with P126.404 million, and Region IV-A with P81.106 million.
Crop insurance, which has been identified as one of the key climate change-adaptation measures by the DA, so the PCIC has embarked on a program to broaden the availability of its insurance products.
From less than half a million covered farmers some three years ago, the PCIC has expanded the number of insured farmers to 917,814 by end of last year. The agency plans to increase its coverage further to 1,000,000 this year.
James Konstantin Galvez