Bill expanding services of PCIC hurdles House


Voting 268-0 with no abstentions, the House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on the third and final reading a measure that seeks to expand the services of the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) and at the same time encourage private sector participation in agricultural insurance. House Bill No. 7387 aims to ensure that more Filipino farmers are protected from financial losses arising from natural calamities, plant diseases and pest infestations by mandating the insurance services of the PCIC to all agricultural commodities, from the traditional palay crops to now include 'other crops, without prejudice to the inclusion of other non-crop agricultural assets, such as livestock, fisheries and aquaculture, agroforestry and forest plantations.' Insurance coverage shall also include machinery, equipment, transport facilities and other related infrastructures, as the Board of Directors of PCIC may determine. Likewise, the insurance shall cover, in every case, the cost of production inputs, the value of the farmer's own labor and those of the members of his household, including the value of the labor of hired workers, and a portion of the expected yield as the Board of Directors, in its discretion, decide to insure. However, such insurance protection excludes losses arising from avoidable risks emanating from or due to the negligence, malfeasance or fraud committed by the insured or any member of his immediate farm household or employee. In addition, the PCIC shall also offer reinsurance services for entities willing to offer agricultural insurance. "It shall also be the policy of the State to promote the modernization of the agricultural sector by mitigating the risks inherent to the industry and which increase the barriers to increased market participation in businesses related to agriculture," HB 7387 said. "Towards this end, the State shall encourage active private sector participation in extending agricultural insurance to members of the agricultural sector by allowing the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation to undertake reinsurance agreements with private sector agricultural insurers and to extend its insurance services to livestock, aquaculture and fishery, agro fishery, and forest plantation insurance," it said

Source: Philippines News Agency