Lapid seeks insurance for CARP beneficiaries

January 30, 2023 PS Jun M. Sarmiento 262 views

AMID the continuous rise in prices for agricultural commodities, Senator Manuel “Lito” Lapid proposed a measure seeking to grant full insurance coverage to all qualified agrarian reform beneficiaries of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

Lapid filed Senate Bill (SB) No. 1766, amending Republic Act (RA) No. 6657, which provides full crop insurance for qualified farmers who are actually tilling the land and have made investments in growing crops or stocks in fisheries farms, production inputs, other farming implements, other non-crop agricultural assets necessary in the actual cultivation, and livestock as certified by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

“The Philippines, being located along the Ring of Fire, is vulnerable to frequent typhoons, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions…These natural disasters undoubtedly affect the farmers’ livelihood. Not only that, but also have an impact on a larger scale, i.e., food production in and food security of the country,” the bill’s explanatory note read.

Thus, according to the senator, full crop insurance is one the effective instruments that the government can utilize in mitigating the consequences of these natural calamities on the agricultural sector.

“Ang pagkakaroon ng crop insurance ay isa sa mga mabisang instrumento na magagamit ng ating gobyerno upang mabawasan ang mga pinsalang dulot ng mga natural na kalamidad sa sektor ng agrikultura. Sa pagbibigay ng karagdagang suporta, hindi lamang mapapanatili ang kita ng ating mga magsasaka kundi pati na rin ang ang produksyon ng pagkain at seguridad sa pagkain ng bansa,” Lapid said.

Lapid’s proposed measure cites that the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation is the implementing agency of the government’s agricultural insurance program which provides insurance protection to farmers against losses arising from natural calamities, plant diseases, and pest infestations of their crops. It also provides protection against damage to or loss of non-crop agricultural assets including but not limited to machinery, equipment, and other related infrastructures due to perils insured against.

However, Lapid mentioned that the participation of agricultural workers in the government agricultural insurance program remains low, citing the premium that farmers are required to pay.

“Isa sa mga pangunahing dahilan kung bakit mababa ang partisipasyon ng ating mga magsasaka sa agricultural insurance program ng gobyerno ay ang premium na kailangan nilang bayaran. Bagama’t kalahati nito ay na-subsidize na ng gobyerno, ang natitirang halaga ay naturang pabigat pa rin sa ating mga magsasaka,” Lapid added.

It can be noted that former President Corazon C. Aquino signed into law Republic Act No. 6657, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL), which instituted a comprehensive agrarian reform program to promote social justice and industrialization providing the mechanism for its implementation and for other purposes.