Farm insurance coverage at record 2.27 million in 2018

Farm insurance coverage at record 2.27 million in 2018
BusinessWorld |May 27, 2019 | 12:05 am | by  Vincent Mariel P. Galang

THE insurance rate among farmers and fisherfolk has increased to 33.52% in 2018, hitting a record 2.27 million, the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC) said.

In a statement, the company said the number of insured rose from 1.7 million in 2017, and more than twice the 1.09 million in 2016.

“The assets covered included for the most part rice, corn and high-value crop farms totaling 1.845 million hectares in 2018, which is 39.04% greater than the 1.327 million insured in 2017,” PCIC said in the statement.

“In terms of indemnity payments, the PCIC paid out P3.397 billion in 2018, 75.37% more than the P1.937 billion paid in 2017. Most insured farmers and fisherfolk numbering 442,035 received the payments in 20 days or less according to PCIC’s improved and ISO-certified systems,” it said.

PCIC was given a top rating in the corporate governance scorecard issued by the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG).

It scored 100.5 in corporate governance. GCG uses this evaluation to assess government firms’ observance of best practices and international standards of corporate governance.

The PCIC is the only GOCC that provides agricultural insurance. It insures rice and corn, as well as high-value crops, livestock, fisheries, non-crop agricultural assets, and credit and life insurance.

The Department of Finance (DoF) said it plans to convert the PCIC into a reinsurer in order not to compete with private insurance providers.

House Bill 6923, An Act Strengthening the PCIC written by Representative Arthur C. Yao, which authorizes the PCIC to engage in index-based insurance and reinsurance, was approved on third and final reading in April.

The DoF is awaiting the counterpart bill to be filed by Senator Cynthia A. Villar, who heads the chamber’s Committee on Food and Agriculture.

An option to privatize the PCIC is also on the table, but this will depend on legislation. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang