27, 2013

NR # 3239B

Solon bats for insurance coverage for fisherfolks and aquaculture projects
A lawmaker is proposing to extend insurance coverage for fisherfolks against losses arising from natural calamities and fish diseases as well. Rep. Arthur C. Yap (3rd District, Bohol) filed House Bill 418, which seeks to strengthen the Philippine Crop Insurance System by expanding its program coverage. “The Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) shall provide insurance for aquaculture and aquaculture assets and such crop insurance shall cover, in every case, the value of the fisherfolks’ own labor,” he said. The bill also seeks to increase the funding source of the Philippine Crop Insurance program as well as impose heavier penalties for spurious claims. Yap said under the present law, both agricultural and non-crop related products are insured to mitigate the debilitating effects of natural calamities and their production and on the livelihood of local producers. “Presidential Decree No. 1467, as amended, otherwise known as the Revised Charter if the Philippine Crop Insurance (PCIC), covers rice, corn and other high-value crops and livestock,” Yap explained. He said non-crop insurance includes agricultural machineries and personal life insurance of farmers and fisherfolks. “However, while the PCIC has extended insurance coverage to the fisheries sector, it has no operational program for fishpond and fish cage operators and other aquaculture projects,” Yap said. The measure states that one-half percent (0.5%) of the net earnings of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) from its casino operations and other related businesses should be earmarked for the crop insurance program. “The said amount shall be directly remitted by the PAGCOR to the corporation every six months until the amount of government subscription is fully paid,” Yap said. The bill provides the penalty of imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than eight years or a fine of not less than P100,000 but not more than P600,000 or both at the discretion of the court on any person who through malfeasance, misfeasance or nonfeasance allows a spurious claim to be paid, including the claim for himself, upon final conviction. (30) mvip