Under the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan, a minimum of P200 million is allotted each year to the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. for the crop insurance of coconut farmers. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Under the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan, a minimum of P200 million is allotted each year to the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. for the crop insurance of coconut farmers. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

DEPARTMENT of Finance (DoF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd has directed a committee charged with monitoring the use of the coco levy trust fund to make sure there isn't any "double-dipping" of funds when providing the estimated 2.5 million coconut farmers in the nation with crop insurance and health coverage.

In a statement over the weekend, it said Dominguez, who chairs the current Trust Fund Management Committee (TFMC), stressed that the next batch of members of this committee should also ensure that the health and crop insurance coverage for coconut farmers, as provided under Republic Act 11524 or the "Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund" (CFITF) Law are "commercially viable and therefore, sustainable."

The Finance department said Dominguez brought up the fact that, as per the CFITF Law and the President's approved Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan, a minimum of P200 million is allotted each year to the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC) for the crop insurance of coconut farmers

The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) would get an additional P500 million to manage the health and medical program for coconut growers and their families.

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"As the Trust Fund Management Committee, we need to ensure that there is no double-dipping of funds, that the crop and health insurance coverage to the coconut farmers should only come from the coco levy trust fund," Dominguez was quoted as saying during the final TFMC meeting held under the Duterte administration last June 16.

The DoF reported that Dominguez's concerns were shared by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), which was represented at the meeting by Undersecretary Kim Robert de Leon. Dominguez was given the assurance that the DBM would examine the budget requests for PCIC, PhilHealth, and all other government organizations receiving CFITF funding "to ensure that no double dipping of funds would occur."

The Finance chief also said that in order to make the crop insurance coverage for coconut farmers sustainable, the PCIC's premiums should take into account particular geographical and meteorological risks. Reinsurance mechanisms with the private sector should also be included, he added, "in order to reduce the financial burden on the coco levy trust fund."