October 6, 2011
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan today pushes for a higher budget allocation for crop insurance for farmers in the country, saying insurance is as equally important to farmers as access to credit.
“We should find ways to help our farmers recover quickly from natural disasters, and crop insurance is key,” Pangilinan says. “With crop insurance we can minimize the effects of the damage from typhoons and other natural disasters and at the same time increase the bankability of our farmers’ produce.”
The Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation has a budget of P183M for 2011. Pangilinan says the PCIC should have at least a budget of P300M annually so they can cover as many farmers as possible.
He adds that crop insurance will give farmers’ yield added value.
“The problem of farmers is not access to credit, but bankability. Lending institutions are more confident when the farms are insured. Kahit 50 percent ang coverage, malaking bagay na yun sa ating mga magsasaka bilang pantawid at para makapagtanim silang muli. On average, PCIC is only insuring less than 100,000 farmers every year out of around 4 million farmers in the country. That is not acceptable. Crop insurance, in the long-term, is going to be more cost-effective for the government than dealing with the tens of billions of pesos every year in crop damages.”