Hogs in the province of Ilocos Norte are expected to get insurance coverage from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation to protect local livelihood from the African swine fever (ASF).
Once insured, hog raisers are assured of recovering part of their investments, in case their farms get affected by the ASF, provincial veterinarian Dr. Loida Valenzuela said on Wednesday.
She urged hog raisers to avail of the free livestock insurance offered by the PCIC with funding support from the Ilocos Norte government by registering at the nearest municipal or city agriculture office.
Hog farming in Ilocos Norte took an unexpected turn in 2021 when ASF hit the province for the first time.
Ilocos Norte’s hog industry is worth around PHP4.9 billion, according to last year’s latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.
One of the affected hog raisers, Erlinda Quezon of Solsona town said she was devastated when her eight hogs were buried last July.
“For 27 years in hog farming, the loss of my eight hogs is a big blow to our family budget because I have children who attend school. Hog raising is our major source of income,” she said in an interview.
But with the help of the Ilocos Norte government, Quezon is hopeful that she will get back to business.
Aside from family food packs and alternative livelihoods given to affected hog farmers to get by during the pandemic, the provincial government has allocated almost PHP14 million last year to assist uninsured hog raisers.
Since 2019, the PCIC has been providing at least PHP10,000 insurance cover per head of swine, on a premium payment of only 2.25 percent or PHP225.
However, small backyard hog raisers are given free insurance if they are listed in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture.
The PCIC is the sole government agricultural insurance firm in the country and ASF is among the risks covered by its livestock insurance. (PNA)