PHILIPPINES - Thousands of fisherfolk in 42 provinces nationwide may now avail of free full insurance coverage for their calamity-stricken fishing assets, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) announced.
The full insurance bundle which covers fishing boats, seaweeds, and aquaculture implements and facilities damaged by a calamity will be provided for by the PCIC, another attached agency of the Department of Agriculture, to some 115, 000 fisherfolk whose names appear both on BFAR’s fisherfolk database and the Department of Budget and Management’s Registry System for Basic Sector in Agriculture (RSBSA).
“This is so far only the initial batch of fisherfolk who would be able to get insurance coverage from the PCIC. We are expecting more to benefit from the insurance once the crossmatching of the two registries is already done,” BFAR national director Asis Perez said in a statement.
The PCIC regional management, in coordination with BFAR and the local government units in the identified provinces, will schedule insurance application dates for the registered fisherfolk. They will then be given a copy of the insurance policy number as a proof of their coverage.
“We can say that we can achieve our goals in providing full subsidised insurance for our fisherfolk. We hope to continue this program in the subsequent years,” PCIC Acting Senior Vice President for Regional Management Group Norman Cajucom said. PCIC has allotted a total of P1.184 billion to cover the insurance for farmers and fisherfolk.
Mr Perez, however, clarified that this is only a parcel of the benefits the government has in store for the sector under the national program for municipal fisherfolk registration (FishR). Aside from the RSBSA, the FishR database is also being crossmatched with the National Household Targeting System-Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Fisherfolk listed on both registries will be automatically given a PhilHealth number. The database also systematically allows the government to deliver concrete interventions and assistance to targeted fisherfolk-beneficiaries, he said.
BFAR, in cooperation with the LGUs and partner agencies, implemented the FishR program January of this year. It has since registered a close to 1.2 million fisherfolk nationwide. BFAR is targeting to register 1.6 million fisherfolk before the year ends.
TheFishSite News Desk