Pangilinan calls for higher crop insurance budget

October 6, 2011 10:34 pm 

MANILA, Oct. 6 – Senator Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan called on Thursday for higher budget allocation for crop insurance that would give the farmers heavily affected by natural disasters like typhoons the access to credit.

"We should find ways to help our farmers recover quickly from natural disasters, and crop insurance is key," Pangilinan, chairman of the Senate committee on agriculture, said.

"With crop insurance, we can minimize the effects of the damage from typhoons and other natural disasters and at the same time increase the bankability of our farmers' produce,” he added.

Pangilinan proposed that the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC) should have at least P300 million budget each year to cover as many as farmers as possible. At present, the PCIC has a budget allocation amounting to P183M.

"The problem of farmers is not access to credit, but bankability. Lending institutions are more confident when the farms are insured,” Pangilinan said.

On average, Pangilinan said the PCIC gives insurance to only less than 100,000 farmers every year, a number far below the four million farmers throughout the country.

”That is not acceptable. Crop insurance, in the long-term, is going to be more cost-effective for the government than dealing with the tens of billions of pesos every year in crop damages,” Pangilinan said.

Pangilinan said the crop insurance will increase the value of the yield of the farmers. (PNA) RMA/jfm

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