The Department of Agriculture, through the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (DA-PCIC), has released some P24 Million to farmers in three Northern Luzon provinces as initial payout for damage to farms brought by typhoons Pedring and Quiel.

Over 2,700 organized farmers from Isabela, Bulacan and Pampanga received the assistance. They were members of farmer organizations, including irrigator’s associations.

The farmers lost their standing crops, mostly rice and corn, to combined strong wind, heavy rains and floods brought by the twin typhoons that hit last month.

The indemnity payments will enable them to recover their losses and replant again, PCIC President Jovy C. Bernabe said.

In Isabela, 1,470 farmers from Cauyan town received a total of P14.7 Million; in Pampanga, 901 farmers in San Luis town received P5 Million while in Bulacan, 358 farmers in Malolos received P4.3 Million.

Release of the payments coincided with the three-day field inspection and stakeholder consultation conducted by Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala from October 19-21.

Along with Bernabe and other Department of Agriculture officials, Alcala met with farmers, fishers and local government officials, headed by the governors, to determine quick strategic ways by which the farming communities may recover from their losses.

Crop insurance is a necessary part of the strategic mix.

Given the severity of these natural calamities, and based on the updated assessment of damages to crops, mostly palay, which was insured in the provinces covering the entire Northern Luzon, the PCIC plans to release a total of P 330 Million over the next 30 days.

The twin typhoons damaged farms over a large swathe that extended from the Visayas to Northern Luzon.

During the consultation, Bernabe assured farmers that the PCIC will process and pay their crop insurance claims in a speedy and efficient manner. They are fast-tracking these indemnity payments to enable particularly rice and corn farmers to recover their losses and re-plant again, he said.

Present during the distribution of indemnity checks from DA-PCIC in the respective provinces were Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, PCIC President Jovy C. Bernabe, the governors of the aforementioned provinces, namely: Governor Faustino ‘Bogie’ G. Dy III (Isabela), Governor Lilia ‘Baby” G. Pineda (Pampanga) and Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado (Bulacan), the DA Regional Executive Directors and mayors of affected cities and municipalities.