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July 21, 2024

Interagency body told to ensure no double-dipping for crop, health insurance coverage

The Interagency Trust Fund Management Committee (TFMC) was directed to ensure that there would be no “double-dipping” of resources in providing health and crop insurance coverage to the country’s estimated 2.5 million coconut farmers.

Outgoing Finance Secretary and TFMC chairman Carlos Dominguez III said the next batch of members of the interagency body should also ensure that the health and crop insurance coverage for coconut farmers, as provided under Republic Act 11524 or the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund (CFITF) Law are “commercially viable and therefore, sustainable.”

During the last TFMC meeting under the Duterte administration, Dominguez pointed out that under the CFITF Law and the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan approved by the President, a minimum of P200 million is allocated every year to the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC) for the crop insurance of coconut farmers.

Another P500 million is allocated to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) to administer the health and medical program for coconut farmers and their families.

“As the TFMC, we need to ensure that there is no double-dipping of funds, that the crop and health insurance coverage to the coconut farmers should only come from the coco levy trust fund,” Dominguez said.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM), represented by Undersecretary Kim Robert De Leon, agreed with Dominguez and assured him that the DBM will be reviewing the budget proposals of PCIC and PhilHealth as well as the other government agencies receiving allocations from the CFITF “to ensure that no double dipping of funds would occur.”

Dominguez also said that as a way to make the crop insurance coverage for coconut farmers sustainable, the premiums to be charged by the PCIC should take into consideration specific geographical and meteorological risks, and should also include reinsurance mechanisms with the private sector “in order to reduce the financial burden on the coco levy trust fund.”

The Bureau of the Treasury also reported that the TFMC has received from state-run Land Bank of the Philippines the Certificate of Indebtedness with a principal amount of P1.12 billion with a fixed interest rate of 1.75 percent per annum for the sale of UCPB state shares.

The TFMC also received the P102.74 million in cash proceeds for the sale of disputed UCPB shares and rights. The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) classified the shares as coco levy assets under the CFITF Act.