Pro-farmers: House OKs bill for crop insurance

Farmers and agrarian reform beneficiaries are now given light with regard to destroyed crops due to pest infestation and natural calamities as the House of Representatives approved the House bill 6686.

The said bill authored by Deputy Speaker and Ilocos Sur Representative Eric D. Singson and co-authored by Batangas Representative Vilma Santos-Recto was permitted on its third and final reading with 201 congressmen voting affirmative and none negative.

The House bill 6686 is also an amendment to the Republic Act No. 97000 or the “Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms.”

The said bill gives full insurance coverage to farmer benificiaries whose losses were due to natural calamities, plant diseases, and pest infestations from planting to harvest period.

The Department of Agriculture and Landbank of the Philippines will be the one to list the qualified beneficiaries to be for inclusion of the bill’s program.

According to Singson, granting full crop insurance to qualified CARP beneficiaries paves way to the assurance of food security and reasonable income for farmers.

“Despite the existence of the PCIC (Philippine Crop Insurance Commission, only a small number of farmers avail of crop insurance because of the premium that they are required to pay. Although half of the premium is subsidized by the government the remaining 50 percent is still a burden to many of our farmers,” he said.

The PCIC is the agency assigned to address the risks and consequences of natural disasters and its impact to marginalized farmers.