1.48M fishers sign up for gov’t program
MANILA, Philippines–Some 1.48 million fishermen have signed up with the government’s, representing 92 percent of the intended roster of 1.6 million.
According to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), the campaign is part of efforts to give small-scale fishers access to subsidized insurance through Philippine Crop Insurance Corp.
As of the latest tally, some 116,000 fisherfolk in at least 42 provinces nationwide are eligible for free full insurance coverage for their calamity-stricken fishing assets.
The number represents people who have been verified as actually depending on fisheries for their livelihood.
BFAR Director Asis G. Perez earlier said the FishR program was meant to ensure that those who live below the poverty line would have access to insurance.
“[For the rest of those who signed up,] we are still finalizing the list and cross-checking with nationwide lists of those who are poor,” Perez said.
He was referring to the National Household Targeting System-Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) list of the Department of Social Work and Development, and the Registry System for the Basic Sector in Agriculture of the Department of Budget and Management.
The NHTS-PR is used as basis to determine which households are qualified for the government’s conditional cash transfer program or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.
Perez explained that when a FishR-listed person was also on the other lists, he would be given a PhilHealth number as well as personal and crop insurance coverage, which would apply to boats, seaweeds and other aquaculture stocks that may be lost due to calamities.
He added that while fisherfolk who were not classified as poor had access to social benefits through channels like the Social Security System, those who were poor need their own means to ensure that they were covered.
According to BFAR data, 1,479,014 fishers have registered through FishR as of Dec. 23.–Ronnel W. Domingo
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