Press Release
January 30, 2020


Sen. Grace Poe is seeking insurance coverage for the country's fisheries, livestock and poultry sectors as protection for farmers and fisherfolk when calamity strikes.

Poe made the push for her Senate Bill No. 866 as estimates of agricultural losses begin to trickle in following the Taal Volcano eruption that displaced thousands from their homes and livelihood.

Poe said the fisheries, livestock and poultry sectors are major contributors to the economy and food security.

"However, all of the sectors identified above are vulnerable to climate change and severe-weather based calamities," Poe said.

"Insurance coverage will guarantee that during times of unforeseen events, farmers will not be holding an empty bag," she stressed.

Under SBN 866, the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation, a corporate body attached to the Department of Agriculture, shall insure qualified fisherfolk against losses arising from natural calamities and provide insurance coverage to livestock and poultry and unharvested fisheries stock, without prejudice to the inclusion of other non-crop agricultural assets.

These assets include livestock and poultry pens and cages, inland fishponds, fish cages, fish pens, fishing boats, and other related infrastructures, as the Board of Directors of the corporation may determine.

The bill also includes in the crop insurance coverage the cost of production inputs, the value of the fisherfolk's own labor and those of the members of his household, including the value of the labor of hired workers, as the Board decides to insure.

SBN 866 is a proposed amendment to section 1 of Presidential Decree 1647, otherwise known as the "Revised Charter of the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation Act of 1995," which mandates to insure qualified farmers against losses caused by plant diseases, pest infestations, and natural calamities, and provide insurance coverage for palay and agricultural crops, among others.

Typhoon Haiyan, locally known as Yolanda, in 2013 caused P1.82 billion of damage to the fisheries sector in Region 8 alone. Typhoon Gloria's damage to fish ponds in four provinces reached $4.4 million in 2002, while Typhoon Ompong in 2018 caused damage to the livestock and poultry sector amounting to P5.5 million.

The fisheries sector produced 4.32 million metric tons of fish in 2017, valued at around P243.94 million in total, while the gross value of livestock and poultry production in 2018 were valued at P75.4 billion and P55.4 billion, respectively.

"Hindi natin kayang pigilin ang bagyo at iba pang kalamidad. Pero, sa pamamagitan ng crop insurance, mapapagaan natin ang pasanin ng kababayan nating maaapektuhan at matutulungan sila sa pagbangon," Poe said.

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