Agricultural Insurance in the Philippines: Enhancing Resilience to Climate Change
In the Philippines, about 70 percent of the population lives in rural areas and majority are small farmers whose livelihood depends on agriculture. The agriculture sector provides food for the Filipinos and contributes a major portion to export earnings; however, owing to the country’s geographic location, the sector faces various hazards that make agricultural insurance both urgent and indispensable.
The Philippines is situated in the Pacific Ring of Fire and along the typhoon belt of the Western North Pacific Basin, where more than 60 percent of tropical cyclones enter or originate. It experiences an average of 20 typhoons annually; about five of these typhoons, including related floods, severely damaged crops, livestock, and other properties. It also experiences droughts in varying degrees and with different effects. Aside from extreme weather events and adverse climatic conditions, the Philippines is exposed to other risks such as pest and disease infestations, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.
An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Policy Roundtable on Improving the Agricultural Insurance Program to Enhance Resilience to Climate Change in Southeast Asia, which was conducted by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), in collaboration with the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC), and in cooperation with the Food Security Center of the University of Hohenheim.
The Policy Roundtable, which was held on 29–30 July 2015, aimed to (1) share knowledge and experiences on various facets of agricultural insurance; (2) identify key issues and challenges related to agricultural insurance; (3) explore possible partnerships between and among governments, development organizations, and other stakeholders to actively collaborate on research, knowledge management, capacity building, and other activities; and (4) identify policy directions and recommendations for an enabling environment toward an improved agricultural insurance program.