• By The Financial District

FARMERS URGED TO TAP INSURANCE PROGRAMS

Agriculture Secretary William Dar is urging backyard and commercial hog raisers to secure insurance packages so they can recover part of their investments, in case their farms are affected by the African Swine Fever (ASF).

“As the Department of Agriculture (DA) intensifies efforts to encourage hog raisers to get back to business and, ultimately, help pork production rebound, availing of an insurance coverage is a prudent safety net for existing raisers and for those in ASF-free areas who will venture into this business,” Secretary Dar said.


“Insurance offers stronger security in protecting one’s investments,” he added. “Do not hesitate to take advantage of the free livestock insurance offered by the DA’s Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC). Regain your businesses and protect your livelihood,” the DA chief said.


"The sole government agricultural insurance firm in the country, the DA-PCIC included ASF among the risks covered by its livestock insurance as early as 2019 when the dreaded disease broke out locally," said agency president, Atty. Jovy Bernabe.


"The PCIC provides P10,000 insurance cover per head of swine, on a premium payment of only 2.25% or P225. However, small backyard hog raisers are given free insurance if they are listed in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA). The insurance coverage is different from the ASF indemnification claims, where beneficiaries are eligible for a P5,000 assistance per pig culled," said Bernabe.


Hog raisers can simply apply for insurance via online through the DA-PCIC website, or they can visit its 13 regional offices, 58 provincial extension offices, and 20 service desks, Bernabe said. The provincial, city or municipal agricultural officer or equivalent official in any locality may also be sought for assistance, he added.


Encouraging agricultural stakeholders to take advantage of the government’s free insurance coverage is part of the DA’s broader goal under the hog repopulation program, which has been allotted with an initial P400-million fund.


To ease fears over the continued disruption of the ASF, the DA continues to steer government efforts in vigorously implementing the “Bantay ASF sa Barangay” or BABay program to effectively manage, prevent and control the dreaded viral disease.


It is pursued in strong partnership with the local government units, professional veterinary groups, and state universities and colleges — notably Central Luzon State University and University of the Philippines Los Banos — and hog raisers’ groups.


“The DA will continuously provide assistance to deter the adverse impacts of the ASF, as well as invest in programs for the longer-term sustainability of the hog industry,” secretary Dar said.



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