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DA urges hog raisers to insure pigs

The Department of Agriculture (DA) is calling on backyard and commercial hog raisers to secure insurance packages to ensure their recovery in the event their farms get affected by the African Swine Fever (ASF).

“As the Department of Agriculture (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 in a statement Thursday.

“Insurance offers stronger security in protecting one’s investments,” Dar added.

The Agriculture chief said raisers should take advantage of the free livestock insurance offered by the DA’s Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC).

“Regain your businesses and protect your livelihood,” he said.

The sole government agricultural insurance firm in the country, the DA-PCIC included ASF among the risks covered by its livestock insurance as early as 2019 when the dreaded disease broke out locally, according to PCIC president Atty. Jovy Bernabe.

The PCIC provides P10,000 insurance cover per head of swine, on a premium payment of only 2.25% or P225.

Small backyard hog raisers are given free insurance if they are listed in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA).

The insurance coverage is different from the ASF indemnification claims, where beneficiaries are eligible for a P5,000 assistance per pig culled, according to Bernabe.

Hog raisers can simply apply for insurance via online through the DA-PCIC website, or they can visit its 13 regional offices, 58 provincial extension offices, and 20 service desks, he said.

The provincial, city or municipal agricultural officer or equivalent official in any locality may also be sought for assistance, the PCIC chief said.

Encouraging agricultural stakeholders to take advantage of the government’s free insurance coverage is part of the DA’s broader goal under the hog repopulation program, which has been allotted with an initial P400-million fund. — RSJ, GMA News