THE Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC) reported that 44,690 farmers and fisherfolk in Negros Occidental have availed almost P83 million worth of crop insurance premium subsidy from the government for 2018.
PCIC-Negros Occidental records showed that of the figure, the bulk was utilized for farmers and fisherfolk enrolled under Registry System for Basic Sector in Agriculture (RSBSA) amounting to P72.9 million.
Of which, almost P56.5 million is for the crop sector covering 28,937 recipients of rice, corn, high-value crops, and fishery insurance lines with a total area of 27,846.19 hectares.
The livestock sector with 6,051 recipients covering 17,338-hectare combined areas availed almost P15.8 million in subsidy, and non-crop insurance (NCI) particularly fishing boats worth P690,400 for 438 fisherfolk.
Reports furthered showed the remaining P9.8 million worth of crop insurance premium subsidy was availed by farmers and fisherfolk enrolled under Negros First Universal Crop Insurance Program (NFUCIP) last year.
Of the subsidy, almost P8.3 million has been availed by 8,277 rice and corn farmers in the province with total area of 9,772.50 hectares.
For NCI, also fishing boats, 987 farmers availed P1.5 million, it added.
Jose Ma. Torres, head of PCIC-Negros Occidental Provincial Extension Office, said the reported amount of utilized premium subsidy only covered those availed through NFUCIP and RSBSA.
NFUCIP is being implemented in partnership with the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental, through the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA), while RSBSA is through the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
Other crop insurance programs implemented by the PCIC included Agrarian Production Credit Program, and Sikat Saka Program, among others.
Torres pointed out that the premium subsidy, in rice and corn for instance, is 10 percent of the total "amount of cover" or the value that can be claimed by enrolled farmers and fisherfolk.
"The national government is paying the PCIC for the insurance premium subsidy. The fund is downloaded by the DBM," he said, adding that premium is free as long as farmers and fisherfolk are included in the master list of RSBSA or enrolled in other insurance programs.
For 2019, the national government has allocated P3.5 billion in RSBSA premium subsidy and indemnity claims nationwide.
Of which, P374 million is intended for Western Visayas including Negros Occidental.
On Wednesday, PCIC-Negros Occidental reported that the agency paid indemnity claims totaling to almost P87 million to 18,005 enrolled rice and corn farmers in Negros Occidental for 2018.
The bulk of the claims amounting to almost P85.9 million were paid to 17,627 rice farmers covering an area of 17,788.13 hectares.
The remaining P1.327 million was paid to 378 farmers with areas totaling to 324.96 hectares, it added.
Meanwhile, aside from crop insurance, 39,222 local farmers and fisherfolk also availed accident and dismemberment insurance last year.
Each of them, who paid P50 as premium, received P50,000 in coverage.
Torres earlier said that insurance programs are vital as these enable farmers to recover from possible losses brought by calamities and other factors.