The Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) joined the Provincial Government of Cebu in the Municipality of San Remigio on 26 August 2011 for the first of a series of ceremonial distribution of agricultural insurance coverage beginning with 1,200 marginalized farmer beneficiaries residing in the various municipalities of the 4th District.

The event was part of the ongoing implementation of the historic Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Provincial Government of Cebu last 12 April 2011. The said MOA provides agricultural insurance to marginalized farmers and fisherfolks as a major component of the latter’s Integrated Farming Systems Development Program (IFSDP).

An exceptional initiative of the Province of Cebu, the IFSDP is a comprehensive program to enhance agricultural and fishery production in terms of financing, provision of farming and fishery outputs, technical advice, insurance coverage, and training to farming and fishery communities in all the cities and municipalities in the province.

The insurance coverage is targeted to mitigate the negative impact of climate change arising from natural calamities, such as typhoons, floods, drought, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, as well as plant diseases and pests infestations. Per Governor Garcia: “The farmers and fisherfolks are the most vulnerable to climate change and first to be affected by natural calamities and last to recover.”

All programs/projects of the Province under the IFSDP will be covered with PCIC Insurance facility. This will not only cover the usual crop and livestock but will also include high-value crops, fishponds and artificial reefs (payaw). The farmer beneficiaries will also be enrolled or covered with term insurance which will include accident and dismemberment insurance, medical reimbursement and burial benefit.

Representing the PCIC during the ceremonial distribution of agricultural insurance were President Jovy C. Bernabe, PCIC Board Member David Villanueva (representing Visayas), AVP Antonio Uy and Region 7 staff. The Province of Cebu was led by its Governor Gwendolyn F. Garcia, 4th District Representative Benhur L. Salimbangon, Provincial Agriculturist Dr. Necias Vicoy, Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Mary Rose Vincoy and the provincial board members and municipal mayors from the province’s 4th district.

The next ceremonial distribution of agricultural insurance coverage will be held in the Municipality of Argao which will include the beneficiaries in the 2nd District of the province. The remaining districts will follow as soon as their IFSDP beneficiaries are enrolled in the comprehensive insurance program.

The PCIC considers this joint undertaking with the Province of Cebu as a best practice in PCIC-LGU partnership. The corporation intends to replicate similar agreements in many other provinces to benefit more marginalized farmers and fisherfolks around the Philippines.