MANILA -- Senator Ralph Recto said farmers given land under agrarian reform should have full coverage under a government crop insurance program.

He said many farmers are not covered by the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) because they cannot afford the premiums. This puts them at risks each time a typhoon threatens to destroy their crops.

Half of the cost of crop control premiums is shouldered by the government, but Recto said this is not enough. "The remaining 50 percent is still a burden to some of our poor farmers.”

Recto said that because of low coverage, the PCIC only paid out P2.5 billion in insurance claims from 1981 to 2007.

“That is just a fraction of the damage that resulted from the typhoons that hit the country last year."

The senator has filed a bill to amend the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (Carper) to give farmers better protection from crop damage.

If passed, his bill will give Carper beneficiaries full crop insurance coverage. (Jonathan de Santos/Sunnex)