March 07, 2018 Wednesday
March 7, 2018. The Philippines’ national climate fund is set to release this month close to P200 million worth of grants to help make communities resilient to climate change impacts.
Climate Change Commission (CCC) Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman and Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez led the signing of the financial agreement between the People’s Survival Fund (PSF) Board and the first four recipient local government units (LGUs): Del Carmen, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte; Lanuza, Surigao del Sur; Gerona, Tarlac; and San Francisco, Camotes Island, Cebu.
“Climate change is central to the government’s development agenda, thanks to the strong leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte, Senator Loren Legarda, and Secretary Carlos Dominguez,” De Guzman said.
The PSF was established in 2012 through Republic Act No. 10174 to support the climate adaptation action plans of local governments. Chaired by the DOF, the PSF Board is set to release this month the first four grants, totaling P192 million.
Nine more project proposals in the pipeline totaling P979 million will be under consideration in the next PSF Board meeting scheduled this June.
“With the first funding releases underway, we expect demand for the PSF to grow. The CCC will work closely with Senator Legarda, Chairperson of the Senate Committees on Climate Change and Finance and author of the Climate Change Act, to ensure more funds are made available in 2019,” he added.
The mayors of the recipient local governments welcomed the development.
"The livelihoods of our farmers and fisher folk grow more vulnerable each year that passes without adequate intervention from local and national government. Through the PSF, we can now dramatically enhance our town’s food security by ensuring the full life cycle of food production is resilient to climate change," said Del Carmen Mayor Alfredo Coro II.
Lanuza Mayor Salvacion Saloma-Azarcon, meanwhile, said that the grants couldn’t have come at a better time. “Lanuza’s economy depends on its forests, watersheds and mangroves, which are threatened by worsening climate change. Nothing less than a comprehensive ridge-to-reef approach will do,” she said.
"The PSF will help improve the management of our water resources, due to the expected increase in severity and frequency of climate-induced drought and flooding," Mayor Eloy Eclar of Gerona added.
For his part, San Francisco Mayor Aly Arquillano of Camotes Island said that the PSF grant will help his municipality address its water supply problem caused by saltwater intrusion.