PCIC returns to agriculture department

The Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC) has returned to the supervision and control of the Department of Agriculture (DA) nearly three years after its transfer to the Department of Finance (DOF).

“The PCIC is hereby attached to the DA for policy and program coordination,” stated President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in Executive Order 60.

Established in 1995, the PCIC is a government-owned or -controlled corporation providing insurance protection to farmers against losses from natural disasters, plant diseases, and pest infestations. Originally, it was attached to the DA.

In September 2021, former President Rodrigo Duterte moved the PCIC to the DOF following the Governance Commission for GOCCs’ recommendation to streamline and monitor the insurer’s operations centrally.

On May 13, 2024, President Marcos Jr. signed EO 60, returning the PCIC to the DA to strengthen the organizational link between the two, aiming to enhance agricultural insurance programs responsive to the needs of small farmers, fisherfolk, and other agricultural stakeholders. The focus is on ensuring food security and modernizing agriculture.

Despite the return, the agriculture secretary will not be required to hold one of the seven seats on the PCIC board. The seats of the finance secretary and the Government Service Insurance System on the PCIC board were also removed. The presidents of the PCIC and Land Bank of the Philippines will retain their seats.

Additionally, the Executive Director of the Agricultural Credit Policy Council of the DA and a representative of the private insurance industry, nominated by the DOF secretary, will hold board seats. Three seats, up from one, are now allocated to representatives of the subsistence farmers’ sector.

EO 60 stipulates that the appointment or designation of the PCIC board chairman must follow the rules under the GOCC Governance Act of 2011.

“We are pleased that the PCIC is back under the wings of the DA. This allows us to assure farmers, livestock and poultry raisers, aquaculturists, and others in production that they can be shielded from losses caused by disasters, pests, and diseases,” said Agriculture Secretary Francisco P. Tiu Laurel Jr.

He expressed hope that the safety net provided by the PCIC would encourage more Filipinos to engage in agriculture, fostering a new generation of farmers.

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