By Garry Lao The Philippine Star

CEBU, Philippines – The tsunami alert brought about by the 6.9 magnitude earthquake that hit the province last Feb. 6 caused widespread panic.

But for some fishermen in the southwestern part of the island province, nearest the epicenter of the quake, it brought real destruction.

Efren Dioquino, a fisherman from Ronda town in southwestern Cebu, recalled how the sudden surge in seawater slammed his docked banca, leaving it a total wreck.  With fishing as his sole source of living, this left Dioquino at a loss. Luckily, the Cebu provincial government already had in place an insurance coverage that could help fishermen and farmers cope with devastation to their livelihood due to natural calamities.

Through the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC), a pioneering program was initiated by Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia to insure Cebuano farmers and fisherfolk and their source of income.

The insurance covers not only crops (rice, corn and high-value crops) but also livestock, fish pens, and fishing boats. The farmers and fishermen themselves are also provided with accident and life insurance.

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