October 29, 2020 Thursday
MANILA, 29 October 2020 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) delivered a mentoring session to capacitate higher education institutions (HEIs) on how to tap and access the People’s Survival Fund, the country’s climate adaptation fund which provides long-stream finance for adaptation projects aimed at increasing the resiliency of communities and ecosystems to climate change. This was during the fourth and last session of the Accelerated Climate Action and Transformation (ACT) Local Online Conference held yesterday via Zoom and Facebook Live.
The ACT Local Conference, a four-part online webinar organized by the CCC, orients HEIs from the various regions in the Philippines to provide technical assistance on climate science, issues, vulnerabilities, and risks to their respective LGUs and communities on the development of science-based and risk-informed local climate plans.
Participating HEIs are the following: Aklan State University, Bohol Island State University, Holy Name University, Ifugao State University, Iloilo Science and Technology University, Laguna State Polytechnic University, Leyte Normal University, Mariano Marcos State University, Mindanao State University – Lanao del Norte Agricultural College, Philippine Science High School – Eastern Visayas Campus, Southern Philippines Agribusiness and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology, St. Michael’s College- Laguna, Sultan Kudarat State University, University of Antique Main Campus, Mapua University, University of Antique – Hamtic Campus, University of the Philippines Visayas, University of the Philippines – Diliman – SURP, and West Visayas State University.
Members of the CCC’s People’s Survival Fund Unit led the webinar, including Mr. John Ernest M. Mateo and Ms. Jean Paula Regulano, who presented information on the process and requirements for accessing funding, constraints in terms of technical capacity to develop climate change adaptation projects, and the need for collaboration with community stakeholders.
The People’s Survival Fund or PSF is a national climate adaptation grant mechanism created by Republic Act No. 10174 which amended the Climate Change Act of 2009. The fund shall be used to support adaptation activities of local governments and communities. This includes adaptation activities in the areas of water resources management, land management, agriculture and fisheries, health, infrastructure development, and natural ecosystems including mountainous and coastal ecosystems.
Mr. Mateo discussed the process of accessing the PSF, which includes the prioritization criteria for local communities, reminders, and considerations for submitting adaptation projects/proposals, and ways to access the Project Development Grant. He presented the six (6) approved projects of the PSF.
“We emphasize that the role of Higher Education Institutions are significant in engaging more local government units and local community organizations in accessing the PSF. We in the Climate Change Commission are striving to harmonize all these sectors together in order to achieve our common agenda to further implement more PSF projects along the way,” said Mateo.
Ms. Regulano discussed the cycle of developing project proposals for the PSF, including tools to provide a basis for comparing and prioritizing adaptation measures, and guidelines in filling out the PSF project proposal template. She noted that there are several programs and projects that provide technical assistance to access the PSF.
“The challenge for the past years was the capacity of local government units to fill up the PSF Proposal Project Template, with lesser revisions or comments pagdating sa review and evaluation stage. So as a response, we have programs to provide assistance to local government units and other eligible proponents,” said Regulano.
Through his closing remarks, the chairperson of the House Committee on Climate Change and Bohol 1st District Representative Edgar M. Chatto encouraged participating HEIs to unite and act urgently to address the changing climate.
“We are in a state of climate emergency. It is imperative that we take immediate action aggressively and decisively, otherwise, the human race faces extinction. Let us heed the warnings in the world. There is no planet B. It is important to act now – act locally because it makes a lot of difference,” said Cong. Chatto.
With limitations on face-to-face training and meetings, the CCC continues to provide capacity building for local government units (LGU) and other stakeholders on PSF through its eLearning Program.
The PSF e-learning aims to strengthen our technical support and peer-to-peer learning services to the LGUs as well as networking with SUCs and HEIs to train and mentor more LGUs in developing quality and responsive PSF project proposals. To date, CCC’s PSF Unit is now mentoring the third batch of enrollees which started last August and will run until the end of this month.
The ACT Local Online Conference aims to formalize a sustainable partnership between the national government, academe, and the private sector in providing technical and/or financial resources to LGUs on climate action.
Through ACT Local, relevant stakeholders will be capacitated to assist and contribute to efforts that will generate information, boost capacity development, promote cooperation and convergence, facilitate vertical and horizontal alignment for development planning, and access to climate financing windows toward climate resiliency.