Around 40,000 farmers and fisher folks in the province are now protected by an insurance plan.
The figures covered from July 2013 to September 2014. The Provincial Government paid Php 8 million for the premiums of the insurance program. This also covers rice, corn, high value commercial crops, livestock, fisheries, and non-crop agricultural assets.
Governor Hilario P. Davide III said 21,600 farmers and fisher folks were additionally insured from January 2014 to September 2014.
Davide and Atty. Jovy Bernabe, president of Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) signed a memorandum of agreement for the special comprehensive insurance program last October 1 at the Capitol.
Davide thanked PCIC for lowering the premiums of insurance to help the marginal folks especially the farmers and fishermen in the typhoon-affected northern Cebu last year.
“We thank the PCIC for insurance coverage, gani ang insurance premium gipaubsan jud sa PCIC para matabangan ang mga mag-uuma ug mangingisda sa mga kalamidad (the cost of the insurance premium were lowered by the PCIC to protect the marginal folks from the effects of calamities,” he said.
The PCIC already indemnified the affected farmers in Bantayan Island in the amount of P28 million, which was way up high than the premiums paid by the Capitol for the 40,000 farmers insured.
The insurance premiums were paid by the Capitol without any condition imposed on the local government units (LGUs) participating in the program.
Davide said they are seeing to it that the beneficiaries of the program will be the marginal folks, like those who have a farm that has at least one hectare of farmland or less.
Dr. Roldan Saragena, officer-in-charge, Office of the Provincial Agriculturist said, the procedure is that the beneficiaries should be members of the farmers and fisher folks associations accredited or recognized by the LGUs.
Aside from the insurance program of the Capitol, the Department of Agriculture also has its own crop insurance program for the farmers in the 16 typhoon-affected LGUs in the north.
For those who were not included in the 40,000 insured farmers, Bernabe said the DA will be the one to insure them. So in Cebu alone, he said, we have around 70,000 farmers insured.
He said Cebu is really a good model for all the other provinces to follow because it is a pioneering province to hold the program.
“Hindi natin alam ang mangyayari (We don’t know what will happen) because of climate change. Nagiging more destructive yong mga kalamidad kaya kailangan ma proteksyonan yong mga (The calamities are becoming more destructive so that we need to protect) the farmers,” Bernabe said.