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Pests Plague Negros Occidental Farms
« on: December 27, 2017, 05:24:36 AM »
BACOLOD CITY -- The Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) has approved the request of Negros Occidental provincial government to include farms affected by pest and diseases in its insurance coverage.

The PCIC, a partner of Negros Occidental in the implementation of the Negros First Universal Crop Insurance Program (NFUCIP) since 2011, previously covered only farms damaged by calamities such as typhoons and floods.

“PCIC has positively responded to the request of the governor. The agency has yet to issue the guidelines thus, only succeeding damage brought by pest and diseases can be covered,” Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino said Tuesday.

Based on the modified guidelines, the enrollment premium per cropping season remains at PHP840 but the whole amount will now be shouldered by the provincial government as a loan.

In the previous coverage, only PHP500 is being shouldered by the province while the remaining PHP340 is the counterpart of the farmer-enrollees.

Through the NFUCIP, farmers may avail of the PHP17,000 claim per hectare of damaged farms. However, the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist said “pioneer” enrollees will be given priority in availing the full enrollment coverage.

Farmers will pay back the province after receiving their claims.

“Now that full enrollment premium is shouldered by the province, what the farmers need to do is to have their farms listed and enrolled,” Masculino said.

For 2017, records of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturists showed the province’s agricultural crops, particularly rice, have incurred total damage of at least PHP80 million, mainly attributed to calamities like typhoons and floods, and pest infestation.

At least PHP3.2 million in damage and production losses, particularly to rice plantations, was reported in Negros Occidental following the torrential downpour brought by Typhoon Urduja this December.

From January to September this year, the PCIC has insured 12,113 rice farmers in Negros Occidental for all programs with an area of 12,297.89 hectares.

During the period, it has paid almost PHP36.7 million in indemnity claims to rice farmers in the province.

Jose Ma. Torres, insurance underwriter and officer-in-charge of PCIC-Negros Occidental, had earlier said that indemnity claims significantly help farmers sustain their production amid possible damage and losses brought by calamities, and called on the local government units to link the farmers to the PCIC through their respective agriculture offices. (PNA)

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