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Resilient agri sector

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Resilient agri sector

Monday, March 20, 2017

TO LESSEN farmers’ burden in times of disasters, the Senate is planning to draft its own version of the House Bill filed by Representative Arthur Yap, the Weather Index-Based Insurance (Wibi) Bill.

This plan came following the nearing completion of Wibi Mindanao project this December 2017. Wibi Mindanao project started in 2015.

Senator Cynthia Villar is presently studying the senate version.

In the sidelines of the Wibi Assessment forum at the Marco Polo Hotel, Roy Arthur Alamban, Focal Person for Wibi project in Northern Mindanao, said initial evaluation of the three-year project was currently being undertaken.

He also reported that Department of Agriculture-Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (DA-PCIC), together with the United Nations Development Program, had finally reached the 2,000 target farmer-beneficiaries for the pilot project for Wibi Northern Mindanao and Davao Region.

Alamban added that of the figure, more than 170 already received pay outs.

“Mindanao is known as a food basket. Mindanao is also one of the vulnerable areas in terms of calamities, that is why we decided to upscale Wibi to other parts of the island from the original project being in Agusan del Norte in 2012,” Alamban said.

Since the launch of Wibi in 2015, more than 2,743 hectares of farm land had been insured both in Northern Mindanao and Davao Region.

The purpose of the insurance program, he said, is to provide a total payout of P20,000 per hectare per farmer depending on the rainfall index measured in the particular area.

Alamban said the payout to be distributed to these enrolled farmers will not be based on whether or not there was damage on the crops or the land but solely on the rainfall index.

He said before PCIC released payouts to the beneficiaries, a certified rainfall data from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration is required. It was earlier reported that the total budget for the said project is at $1 million.

So far, there had been more than $29,000 total payout distributed for the two regions.

Moreover, the PCIC Board approved additional P2 million premium subsidies for another 2,000 enrollees until June 30 of this year as per PCIC Board Resolution 2016-052. (ASP)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 20, 2017.

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