MANILA – The Department of Agriculture (DA) wants backyard and commercial hog raisers to secure insurance packages so they can recover part of their investments, in case their farms got infected with animal diseases such as the African swine fever (ASF).
“As the DA intensifies efforts to encourage hog raisers to get back to business and, ultimately, help pork production rebound, availing of an insurance coverage is a prudent safety net for existing raisers and for those in ASF-free areas who will venture into this business,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said on Thursday.
The DA secretary said insurance will offer stronger security in protecting their livestock investments especially now with the threat of ASF around.
Dar underscored that the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) offers free livestock insurance.
“Do not hesitate to take advantage of the free livestock insurance offered by the DA’s PCIC. Regain your businesses and protect your livelihood,” he said.
The PCIC provides PHP10,000 insurance cover per head of swine, on a premium payment of only 2.25 percent or PHP225.
Small backyard hog raisers are given free insurance if they are listed in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA), DA said.
PCIC president Atty. Jovy Bernabe, in a statement, said that the insurance coverage is different from the ASF indemnification claims, where beneficiaries are eligible for a PHP5,000 assistance per pig culled.
Online application is conveniently accessible through the DA-PCIC website.
“For physical transactions, the applicants can visit its 13 regional offices, 58 provincial extension offices, and 20 service desks,” Bernabe said.
The provincial, city or municipal agricultural officer or equivalent official in any locality may also be sought for assistance, he added.
Dar mentioned that the DA-PCIC campaign to enroll affected hog raisers is part of the DA’s broader goal under the hog repopulation program, which has been allotted with an initial PHP400-million fund.
The DA has also launched the grassroots level approach of monitoring the cases through the “Bantay ASF sa Barangay” or BABay program to effectively manage, prevent and control the dreaded viral disease.
The BABay program was created in partnership with the local government units, professional veterinary groups, and state universities and colleges — notably Central Luzon State University and University of the Philippines Los Banos — and hog raisers’ groups.
“The DA will continuously provide assistance to deter the adverse impacts of the ASF, as well as invest in programs for the longer-term sustainability of the hog industry,” Dar said. (PNA)