CAGAYAN DE ORO– The exacerbating loss brought about by the climate-related risks in the Philippines from floods, typhoons, earthquakes, to drought and desertification has nurtured the seeds of fear and sown the essence of loss and tragedy in the hearts of poor Filipino farmers.
In these challenging times, climate finance has infiltrated the gaps between the needs of farmers and the agriculture industry. Thus, CLIMBS Life and General Insurance Cooperative has established Weather Protect Insurance, the first parametric insurance that ensures farmers and cooperative members will be able to receive payouts caused by climate-induced effects based on several trigger parameters, such as rainfall and wind speed.
With the support of the Insuresilience Solutions Fund (ISF), IBISA, and partnership with the Alliance of Bioversity, CIAT, Global Parametric, and ICMIF the project successfully held 45 roadshows nationwide, reached a total of 872 cooperatives, and gathered 1,992 participants from all over the country.
During the 1st quarter of the project, the 1st Community of Practice was held, which provided a venue to do the feedback and complaint management. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration and IBISA have worked together to create an impactful discussion for farmer-members during the forum. This quarter alone released a total claim of USD 32,510.10, or Php 1,848,850, to 12 coops.
Subsequently, the upward trajectory of the series of roadshows in the 2nd quarter from July 8 to September 1, 2023, across 64 provinces led to a variety of challenges, including educating the farmers that the difference between indemnity-based insurance and parametric insurance was evident. This quarter also paved the way for alliances and strong ties with both the public and private sectors.
One of the most devastating tragedies, such as Typhoon Doksuri, also known locally as Typhoon Egay, caused heavy damage in five Northern Luzon provinces on August 1, 2023, and these sorts of disasters disproportionately afflict vulnerable groups, which are the most severely impacted by the disastrous impacts of climate change. Nonetheless, over 13 cooperatives received a total payout of Php 858,683.30 (USD 15,333.63) for the triggers caused by the natural calamity.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa Ilocos Consolidated Cooperative Bank at sa Weather Protect Insurance sa mga programa ng binigay nila sa akin tulad ng mga insecticides, Pilarzeb, and Prevathon. Nagpapasalamat ako dahil malaking tulog ito sa aking panghanapbuhay.” Mr. Randy Abalos, a farmer-member from ICCB, shares a brief testimony on how the cooperative has converted the payouts from their triggers to insecticides that would enable them to protect their crops from pests and diseases.
(I would like to thank Ilocos Consolidated Cooperative Bank and the Weather Protect Insurance for the programs they have given me such as the insecticides, Pilarzeb and Prevathon. I want to express my gratitude because this is a big help to my livelihood.)
And lastly, there is also an improvement during the series of trainings conducted in this time period, such as on climate risks and pest diseases, which were attended by over 21 cooperatives all over Mindanao in close collaboration with the Bureau of Plant Industry under the Department of Agriculture, helping coops increase their knowledge on sustainable means of crop management and production.
In the third quarter of the project, the team focused more on field activities and training for farmer beneficiaries and worked hand-in-hand with the National Crop Protection Center, the Department of Agriculture, and the Bureau of Plant Industry. Additionally, the 2nd Quarter Community of Practice was held on June 20, 2023, and attended by 135 co-op members and farmer representatives coming from 56 cooperatives.
“Ako ay isang magsasaka at ako ay miyembro ng Sta. Cruz Savings and Development Cooperative (SACDECO) Bantay Branch at ako ay nagpapasalamat sa CLIMBS at Weather Protect Insurance sa pagbibigay ng payout [from triggers] sa savings namin,” Mr. Romulo Veliselye, another farmer-member from a cooperative, resides in Brgy. Panawan, Ilocos Sur, one of the places affected by Typhoon Egay, shares how their payout was immediately added to their savings account.
(I am a farmer-member from Sta. Cruz Savings and Development Cooperative (SACDECO) Bantay Branch and I want to thank CLIMBS and the Weather Protect Insurance for giving the payouts [from triggers] to our savings account.)
Additionally, over 18 visionary leaders, philanthropists, and presenters coming from 12 different private and government agencies holds its 2nd Climate Summit and 1st Community of Practice together with CLIMBS’ education arm, the Cooperative College of the Philippines, where different sectors in society gathered together to address and engage on matters pertaining to climate justice and building resilience in vulnerable communities, by empowering them to combat the tragedies posed by climate change.
Rounding up the year 1, the Weather Protect Insurance has released a total payout of PHP 2,740,398.50. This significant milestone in the WPI Journey has brought newfound hope and resiliency into the lives of the farmer-members of cooperatives in the Philippines. This gave them a sense of purpose and reassurance that the agricultural sector is able to adapt, grow, and develop, and it will not be a dying economy. Smart agriculture and cutting-edge insurance solutions together have a positive social change cascading down to benefit Filipino farmers, who are now able to consistently be represented in the media and in society at large, brewing a tale of empowerment, solidarity, and strength in unity.
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