Farmers' group calls for sustained crop insurance support

Farmers’ group calls for sustained crop insurance support from gov’t

By: - Reporter / @zacariansINQ
/ 04:25 PM May 21, 2024

 Farmers group calls for sustained crop insurance support from governent

 (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO /  VILLAMOR VISAYA JR.)

MANILA, Philippines — The Federation of Free Farmers (FFF)  on Tuesday asked the government to continue its efforts to support and sustain crop insurance programs amid the effects of El Niño and the looming La Niña.

 The group made the appeal after the reinstatement of the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) as an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

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“Crop insurance is an important component of the DA’s support program for farmers, and it is only logical that the PCIC be part of the DA family,” FFF Board Chairperson Leonardo Montemayor said in a statement.

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With this development, the FFF expressed its gratitude to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu-Laurel, Jr., further urging the government to “sustain its support for crop insurance because of El Niño or La Niña and the likelihood of more severe weather disturbances in the coming years.”

According to Montemayor, the PCIC was originally created by President Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. in 1978 through Presidential Decree 1467 and later amended by Republic Act 8175 in 1995. 

The corporation compensates insured farmers if their produce is damaged by calamities, pests and, or disease — funded from premiums from farmers, lending institutions, and the government.

But the FFF previously sounded the alarm on delayed payments of claims and reduced benefits to farmers, allegedly due to the Department of Finances’ cutting costs and enhancing the financial profile of the agency.

“Government support to the agency should not be considered primarily as a subsidy to farmers but more importantly as a means to ensure adequate food supply for the country,” said Montemayor.

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