Indemnity paid by PCIC from Jan-Aug 2012 pegged at P6.40M
TACLOBAN CITY – Indemnity paid by the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) from January to August 2012 was pegged at P6.40 million lower than the P8.34 million claims during the same period a year ago, the agency said in a report released yesterday.
Despite lower payment, the PCIC noted increasing claims for farms infested with pests from P2.36 million last year to P3.15 million during the first eight months of 2012.
“For more than two years, claims for damages caused by pest infestation have been consistently growing. We have been reporting this to the Department of Agriculture for them to undertake measures,” said Dominico S. Digamon, PCIC Eastern Visayas regional manager.
Of the P6.40 million indemnities, P6.29 million was received by 1,326 rice farmers tilling 1,984 hectares of farm. At least 702 of the claimants have reported losses due to pest plague.
The PCIC said the most common rice pests and diseases are stemborer, rice tungro virus, rice black bug, and rice blast. In 2011, pest infestation was the major cause of losses with claims amounting to P6.55 million compared to natural calamities with only P4.66 million claims.
Digamon explained that the lower indemnity can be attributed to lower production this year aggravated with favorable weather condition from January to August.
For rice alone, amount of coverage went down from P88.22 million in 2011 to P55.05 million this year.
However, towards the end of the year, the PCIC expects to surpass the P136 million target coverage for rice especially that the provincial government of Northern Samar committed to provide premium subsidies to all farmers starting this year.
Top PCIC officials and Northern Samar Governor Paul Daza are scheduled to sign an agreement next week on subsidizing premium for all farmers in the province.
“Presently, only 126 farmers are insured in Northern Samar. With local government subsidy, we expect to register thousands of farmers to the crop insurance program in that province alone,” Digamon said.
The 2012 records show that the region has 5,590 beneficiaries with 892 in Southern Leyte, 620 in Leyte, 423 in Biliran, 95 in Samar, and 62 in Eastern Samar.
The official pointed out that insurance coverage will boost the confidence of farmers to plant since they are assured of return of investments. (SARWELL Q. MENIANO)
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