From rising storms to the settling winds howling back and forth, the Philippines has been long a captive to climate change. As it claws to break free from the cage it has been trapped in, typhoons, floods, earthquakes, and landslides strip away the fabric of its growing economy, its natural beauty, and the treasures it holds within.

The agriculture sector has planted the seeds of hope for Filipinos. The constant pursuit of stability and the never-ending rally for development make things even more difficult.

For Randy Abalos, one crop planted today drives tomorrow’s hunger away. As a small-scale Filipino farmer, he has long accepted the realities brought by the uncertainties and obstacles that come with the burden of letting nature run its course through farming – his main source of livelihood.

From crop pests and diseases to flash floods and drought, Randy has fought tooth and nail to protect his livelihood. But somehow, all his efforts seem to fall short in the face of his adversaries.

The old philosophy says that humans are social creatures; no one is meant to live alone in isolation. Hence, the true essence of “cooperation” is born. From time and time again, collaboration and mutual support have been the secret of many in order to achieve the things that no man can do alone. Rooted in this idea is the ideology of cooperatives, which involves pooling each member’s resources and working together to achieve their common aspirations.

Thus, many visionary leaders began as mutual benefit groups, such as CLIMBS Life and General Insurance Cooperative (created in 1971 by its late founder, Atty. Aquillino Pimental and Atty. Mordino Cua). At the beginning when the cooperative was established, with all members gathering at Atty. Cua’s house, they made a temporary headquarters there.

Weather Protect Insurance is an enhanced weather protect insurance with value-added benefits on smart agriculture design for cooperatives and their farmer-members

At present, CLIMBS continues to evolve and develop as an insurance cooperative, coming up with tailor-fitted insurance products ready for every member’s needs, including Weather Protect Insurance for farmers like Randy. As a farmer and member of the Ilocos Consolidated Development Bank, a cooperative that CLIMBS has on-boarded has converted its payouts to insecticides and pesticides that are able to protect Randy’s crops from pests and diseases. Particularly those that are hindering him from relinquishing a healthy yield and a bountiful harvest of plants and vegetables from his farm.

The Weather Protect Insurance has propelled insurance schemes into the spotlight in the climate finance industry, setting the grounds for resilience and sustainability in farming. It’s smart, innovative solutions fused with digital technologies led to a suitable way for farmers to receive a payout based on the severity of the parameters triggered by catastrophic events such as excessive rainfall, heavy winds and drought conditions.

This initiative was inspired by one of the admirable traits of Filipinos—their ability to overcome adversity and emerge stronger in the face of natural disasters. CLIMBS established its Weather Protect Insurance coverage with the purpose of ensuring that, regardless of the consequences of climate change in the country, Filipino farmers are properly compensated and may start with what they currently have.

At the end of the day, climate change has prompted every individual to seek adaptive ways to mitigate its negative impacts on the lives of farmers, agricultural workers, and the Philippine economy.

And so, the story of Randy serves as a testament to the transformative power of cooperatives in the lives of people who dare to dream big and continue to strive hard despite the status quo. As the agricultural sector continues to evolve, CLIMBS aims to leave an enduring legacy for tomorrow, guiding the way towards a more sustainable and prosperous future for generations to come.

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