by: By Gregg M. Rubio/FPL (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines – Cebu Governor Hilario Davide, III may continue the insurance coverage program of farmers and fisherfolk with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC), a program that was started by his predecessor, former governor and now third district Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia.

Davide met with the officials of PCIC led by Antonio Uy II, acting Vice President for Corporate Business Affairs and Regional Manager Crescencio Deligero Jr. at the Capitol last Tuesday.

Davide said that the PCIC officials explained the report of the Commission on Audit which cited some deficiencies on the manner of providing insurance for Provincial Health Volunteer Workers and Barangay officials.

“Ang tubag sa taga PCIC nako nga these barangay officials nga gi–insure are also farmers, so cover sila sa PCIC, they are qualified,” Davide said.

Davide suggested publishing the PCIC guidelines so that COA would know.

Davide was also appraised by PCIC about farmers and fisherfolks who have claimed benefits out of the insurance during the time of Garcia.

He added that they still have to sit down again if the program would be continued particularly for the farmers.

In their Audit Observation Memorandum sent to the office of then acting Governor Agnes Magpale, the COA stated “deficiencies and errors” on the payment of the Accident and Dismemberment Security Scheme for the year 2012 to 2013.

According to the COA observation, the provincial government took an insurance coverage on the employees of the Provincial Health Office and barangay officials from the PCIC for a total amount of P1.6 million which may not have legal basis.

Based on the observation, the provincial government took an insurance coverage for 44,854 barangay officials, which include tanods, lupon members, barangay health workers, barangay nutrition scholars, day care workers, animal health aids and bantay dagat members.

Insurance for all the members of the Provincial Health Office totaled to P1.6 million, the COA report stated.

COA also stated that “the insurance provider, is a government corporation whose mandate is to provide insurance protection to the country’s agricultural producers particularly the subsistence farmers, against loss of their crops and or non agricultural assets on account of natural calamities such as typhoons, floods, droughts, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions, plant pests, and diseases and or other perils.”–(FREEMAN)