The Department of Agriculture (DA), through the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC), has partnered with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to provide some P17.1 billion worth of crop insurance protection to agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) over the next two cropping seasons.

The protection plan is contained in the joint program called the “Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries-Agricultural Insurance Program (ARB-AIP).”

Secretary of Agriculture Proceso J. Alcala and Undersecretary of Agrarian Reform Jerry E. Pacturan, on behalf of Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes, jointly authorized the implementation of the program by signing the partnership’s memorandum of agreement in ceremonies held today at the DA’s Bureau of Soils and Water Management Convention Hall.

The insurance protection plan is the first such collaboration between two of the country’s main rural development agencies and the biggest group plan ever issued by the DA-PCIC.

It aims to provide the agrarian reform farmer-beneficiaries a safety net against crop pests and diseases as well as the increasingly unpredictable weather patterns brought on by the intensifying climate change over two cropping seasons this year.

Under the ARB-AIP, over 224,000 ARBs or members of their households farming some 330,000 hectares of land and raising some 30,700 farm animals will be provided premium subsidy and enrolled in the DA-PCIC’s crop insurance programs. DAR will identify the eligible beneficiaries.

Of these targeted beneficiaries, 99,580 are rice farmers tilling 178,801 hectares;  37,772 corn farmers, 72,506 hectares; and 85,760 commercial crop farmers, 78,633 hectares.

Each beneficiary shall be provided protection cover for up to three hectares and up to three types of insurance coverage only. Three hectares is the maximum size of farm that ARB can get under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program. The insurance protection is good for two cropping seasons.

Nine hundred twenty four (924) farmers raise 30,742 animals.

The beneficiaries will be provided protection against loss of limbs or life under the DA-PCIC’s Accident and Dismemberment Security Scheme. Approximately 155,360 such policies will be supported under the program. Premium cost for this insurance line will be sourced from the interest income of the DAR-Government Premium Subsidy (DAR-GPS) Fund.

The program beneficiaries must be participants of key DAR programs, like the Agrarian Reform Connectivity and Economic Support Service (ARCCESS), Agrarian Production Credit Program (APCP), Credit Assistance Program for Program Beneficiaries Development (CAP-PBD) and Microfinance Capacity Development in Agrarian Reform Areas. DAR will identify the eligible beneficiaries.

DAR will put up the premium subsidy worth P1B for the DAR-GPS for Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries. Of the amount, P533.78M will be allocated for rice farmers, P385.82, corn farmers, P79.09M for high value crop farmers, P1.31M for livestock. The premium cost for the individual farmer’s life and limb coverage amounting to P5.43M would come from interest income of the DAR-GPS Fund.

For its part, DA-PCIC will provide the insurance cover worth some P17.07B. Of the sum, some P4.94B will be reserved for rice, P2B for corn, P2.35B for commercial crops, P13M for livestock, and some P7.77B for the individual farmer’s life and limb.

In case the risks or perils come to pass, the DA-PCIC will pay out damage claims from these beneficiaries within 20 days, less than the 60-day reglementary period. This is made possible by the ISO-certified systems and processes established by the DA-PCIC.

Depending on the extent of damage and the cost of farm investment, the farmers may receive payments for damages worth P39,000 to P52,000 per hectare for inbred and hybrid rice, respectively;  P 28,000 and P40,000 for every hectare of open-pollinated and hybrid corn,
respectively;  and  up to P50,000 for life and limb. These are various indemnity figures for commercial crops and animals as there are many types of crops and animals involved.

An attached agency of the DA, the PCIC is the country’s sole provider of crop insurance. The agency has recently become a dynamic player in agricultural development under the leadership of Secretary Proceso J. Alcala.

It has widened its coverage in terms of the number of enrolled farmers through an aggressive information and education campaign and shortened the processing period for claims that has resulted in quick rehabilitation or replanting of damaged farms and repair and replacement of farm assets as well as limited the disruption in the production of farm goods.

To continuously shore up its capacity to provide broad and effective protection to farmers, it has adopted the strategy of partnering with private institutions, official development agencies, and government agencies, including local government units, to expand insurance protection coverage for farmer and their assets, as well as the agency assets that enable the agencies to support the farmers. The partnership with DAR is its biggest and broadest enterprise to date.

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