The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released P4.5 billion to cover the crop insurance premium of some 2.3 million farmers in the country.

Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman has approved the release of P4.5 billion to the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC) as mandated under the 2024 national budget.

Of the amount, P900 million in notice of cash allocation for the first quarter has also been freed up.

The funding will finance crop insurance premiums of around 2.3 million subsistence farmers and fisherfolk nationwide.

Pangandaman said the financing aims to safeguard the means of living of farmers and fishers and ensure that they can continue their activities despite untoward incidents such as calamities.

'In light of the escalating challenges posed by climate change, which heightens the risks to both our economy and food security, it becomes imperative to prioritize the provision of financial security and insurance to empower our farmers and fishermen,' Pangandaman said.

Every year, PCIC covers farmers of various commodities including rice, corn, high value crops, livestock, fisheries and non-crop agricultural assets.

A huge chunk of PCIC's yearly revenues go to insurance claims of insured farmers affected by typhoons, flooding, pests, diseases and all other natural calamities.

However, data showed that there are about eight million farmers in the country but PCIC's penetration rate is only about 30 percent.

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