The Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC) has invited the private insurers to join its partnership for broadening participation in agricultural insurance in the country.

PCIC president, Atty. Jovy C. Bernabe, made the pitch in a talk delivered during the first general membership meeting of the Philippine Insurers Club (PIC) held recently at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Makati City.

In a speech entitled “The Philippine Insurers Club and the Agricultural Insurance Imperative,” Atty. Bernabe sounded off the PIC membership about the possibility of the PIC joining its resources with the PCIC and gearing them to the needs of the small farmers and fishers.

For starters, he proposed that the PIC supports the PCIC’s information and education campaign on the responsibility and rewards of crop insurance.  “Your networks across the country stand as ready information channels that will carry the message of crop insurance across,” he said.

Broadening partnership with the private insurers is a PCIC imperative given the burgeoning interest in crop insurance programs amid increased uncertainty brought about by climate change.

Atty. Bernabe reported that “in 2012, we noted remarkable increase in demand for our services in nearly all of our insurance lines, exceeding by significant rates the previous year’s results.   We enrolled more rice and corn farmers, livestock farmers, and more farmers availed of our property insurance and credit & life term insurance.”

“For 2013, our target amount of cover is P23Billion, covering around 650,000 hectares of farmlands and protecting around 600,000 farmers,” he added.

He stressed though that “millions more farmers and fisherfolk, and most of them are small holders, continue to invest seasonally in farming and fishing ventures without protection against natural perils. These perils have been exacerbated by the intensification of climate change.”

“We need to reach these millions of other farmers, inform them about climate change and educate them on the mitigation and adaptation measures that include taking out crop insurance,” he added.

In closing, Atty. Bernabe said that “a robust crop insurance system, composed of both government and private sectors, and marked by a growing clientele duly conscious of both the responsibility and rewards of insurance protection,    can only result toward protecting the income security of the farmers,   ensuring food security in the country,   and promoting the national welfare.”