More information and educational programs needed to get fisherfolks insured

The fisherfolks do not see value in insurance due to the lack of information and educational programs from the local government, Fredel B. Mued, leader of Nuvuyuntun Yang mga Tagbanua tung Calauit at Quezon, stated in an interview last Friday. 

“Hindi ganap ang pagkaunawa ng mga mangingisda ang kahalagahan ng insured siya at hindi, dahil wala rin masinsinang ginagawang information and education campaign ang local government,” [The fisherfolks do not see the difference between getting insured and not, because the local government does not have enough information and education campaigns] Mr. Mued said. 

At the 2024 National Coastal and Inland Fisheries Summit last May 31, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Regional Director (Region IV-A) Sammy A. Malvas added that convincing fisherfolks to be insured is a struggle for the department. 

“Ang pinakamaliit na portfolio is fisheries. We have covered 13M farmers and fishers for the past nine years but we only have 85,000 fishers insured out of millions. Ganon lang siya kaliit,” [The smallest portfolio we have is on fisheries. We have covered 13M farmers and fishers for the past nine years but we only have 85,000 fishers insured out of millions. That’s how small it is] he mentioned. 

Further, he claimed that social capital is also one of the reasons why fishermen choose not to get insured. 

“We know that maraming calamity sa Pilipinas but we still don’t buy insurance right? Kasi ang ating culture for Filipino, at least with that study…is hihingi na lang ako sa neighbors ko na may kaya or puntahan si mayor, or I will call my relative abroad…to help me with the damage,” [The Philippines faces a lot of calamities and yet Filipinos still don’t buy insurance because it is part of our culture – to depend more on our relatives abroad and political figures in case of emergencies] Mr. Malvas stated on the reasons behind uninsured Filipino fishermen.

“We don’t see the value of insurance at least in our society. That’s one major cause at the micro-level and apart from education,” he added.

To aid in the difficulty faced by fishermen, Rocky Sanchez Tirona, the Global Program Lead for Fish Forever at Rare, shared that the organization is conducting seminars and workshops to help educate the fisherfolks about their insurance literacy. 

“What’s been helpful are really insurance literacy, workshops where we actually help them understand what insurance products are, how they work and all that. So I think having the government, local government as the partner for doing things like that is really important,” Ms. Tirona said.Almira Louise S. Martinez