DAR, PCIC To Provide P1-B Agriculture Insurance For ARBs

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC) have joined hands to provide agricultural insurance coverage worth PHP1 billion to agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) and their household members for the fiscal year 2019.

The partnership will be formalized through the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones and PCIC president Jovy Bernabe in a ceremony at Balay Kauswagan in Sagay City, Negros Occidental on Friday afternoon.

“The DAR recognizes the need to protect ARBs against agricultural production losses,” a portion of the agreement stated.

Thus, the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries – Agricultural Insurance Program (ARB-AIP) will provide ARBs and their household members with premium subsidy for agricultural insurance coverage to protect them against crop losses due to plant diseases and pest infections, natural calamities, and other perils.

The joint implementation of the ARB-AIP by the two agencies will be covered by the guidelines on Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) Agricultural Insurance Program.

The fund allocation of PHP1 billion will cover some 515,000 ARBs listed in the registry system in 2019.

Under the agreement, the DAR is primarily tasked to identify the ARBs and their household members listed in the RSBSA who are eligible to participate in the ARB-AIP and endorse them to PCIC for coverage under PCIC’s insurance programs.

Among others, the DAR will also assist the beneficiaries in the preparation of documentary requirements for application for insurance cover to be submitted to the concerned PCIC regional or extension office; identify, recommend and assist ARB cooperatives or organizations and partner microfinance institutions to act as PCIC underwriters; and submit a monthly status on the ARBs’ availment.

The PCIC, meanwhile, will provide agricultural insurance to qualified beneficiaries listed in the RSBSA; issue insurance policy upon receipt and approval of the application for coverage; facilitate field assessment and settlement of claims of farmers; furnish DAR with monthly status reports; and initiate coordinative meeting between the partner-agencies regarding program implementation.

The two agencies will also create three teams to ensure effective program implementation. These are the ARB-AIP Operations Team, Program Secretariat, and PCIC-DAR Regional Coordinating Team.

In 2013, the DAR and the PCIC first implemented the insurance program also with a funding allocation of PHP1 billion used exclusively for premium subsidy for agriculture insurance of farm investments of beneficiaries duly endorsed by the DAR.

The partnership program then successfully covered 350,819 ARBs with a total of PHP18.567-billion coverage amount and fully utilized the PHP1-billion subsidy.

Even without the DAR fund allocation from 2014 to present, the PCIC continuously and consistently supported the agency in providing full premium subsidy for agricultural insurance coverage of ARBs. (PNA)

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