DA to regain control of crop insurance function


The Department of Agriculture (DA) will formally ask its chief, President Marcos, to bring the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC) back under its wing, with the hopes of streamlining the process of indemnifying farmers in the event of natural calamities or diseases.

In an interview, Agriculture Assistant Secretary Rex Estoperez said the matter is discussed at the Cabinet level and the agency hopes it will materialize within the year.

“It is in the consultation stage but on the part of the DA, we would like to not lobby but to request for that to harmonize the implementation of policies in crop insurance,” said Estoperez, concurrently serving as the DA deputy spokesperson.

The DA is agreeable to regaining control of the PCIC “with some revisions” on the latter’s existing structure.

Estoperez flagged the challenges in the release of insurance to crop farmers since the PCIC is currently an attached agency under the Department of Finance.

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno currently chairs the PCIC board.

When asked how critical this move is, Estoperez said, “It is challenging. If you’re talking of calamities and indemnification, we are not handling and facilitating the insurance for farmers. It is more difficult to harmonize the operations. Perhaps what can be done is to learn from the pitfalls before and strengthen it to avoid any problems that might arise in the future.” INQ

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