THE insurance arm of the Department of Agriculture (DA) said it achieved twin historic operational milestones last year by providing more than a million farmers with crop insurance and paying over a billion pesos in damage claims.
In a brief report on the results of its operations last year to the agriculture secretary, DA-Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) president Jovy Bernabe said the agency hit another “remarkable year” in terms of insurance coverage and payments, while sustaining its growth trajectory in 2015.
“This feat is even made more remarkable by dramatic strides in our performance. In an historic corporate accomplishment, we surpassed the one million mark in the number of farmers enrolled by PCIC as well as the one billion mark in the amount of damage claims we have paid in a year,” Bernabe said.
The report said the PCIC insured 1.12 million farmers in its various insurance lines during the year, and nearly half of them, or 545,425, were palay and corn farmers enrolled in the PCIC’s core rice and corn insurance programs. This is 21.7 percent higher compared to the 917,814 farmers enrolled in 2014.
In terms of indemnity for damage claims, the PCIC said it shelled out around P1.1 billion last year, or 48.96 percent more than the P738.45 million it paid to farmers in 2014.
Insured farmers’ standing crops were damaged largely due to the various weather disturbances that visited the country last year, including Typhoons Lando [international name: Koppu]and Nona [international name: Melor].
The crop insurer also said the insured area operated by farmers participating in PCIC programs increased by around 7 percent to over 849,586 hectares from 792,208 hectares in 2014.
The PCIC said the total amount of insurance covered also rose 7.08 percent to P38.14 billion from the P35.62 billion registered in 2014, while the number of claims served reached 113,284 farmers, nearly 29 percent more than the 87,855 farmers served in 2014.
The DA has intensified the insurance coverage of agricultural producers against crop losses and losses of non-crop agricultural assets due to natural calamities, pests and diseases, and other risk factors.
This is because insurance has become a necessary component of the DA’s banner commodity programs.
The PCIC has recently enhanced its existing insurance program for crops, livestock and fisheries.
“We are working within the context of a changing climate and worsening disasters; hence, we want our existing programs such as insurance to be more responsive to the situations that confront our farmers and fishers,” Alcala said.
Alcala stressed that in these times of unpredictable and extreme weather events, insurance for agricultural assets is indispensable to help farmers and fisherfolk recover faster from post-disaster losses.