PSF Bankrolls P192-Million Local Climate Change Adaptation Projects

March 08, 2018 Thursday

March 8, 2018. The People’s Survival Fund (PSF) Board has signed financing agreements with four local government units (LGUs) yesterday to bankroll the implementation of climate change adaptation projects amounting to PHP 192 million.

Climate Change Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman and Commissioner Rachel Herrera attended the ceremonial signing of the agreements at the Department of Finance

The Climate Change Commission (CCC), through its National Panel of Technical Experts, reviews and evaluates project proposals received by the PSF Secretariat. The CCC then recommends the approval of project proposals to the PSF Board.

“The release of adaptation grants to the first batch of recipient local governments is an important milestone in the Duterte administration’s climate action,” De Guzman said at the sidelines of the event. “The PSF is a first of its kind in the world. The operationalization of the fund affirms the commitment of the Philippine Government to build the adaptive capacity and resilience of local communities to climate change impacts,” he added.

The financing agreements cover the following programs:

  • Siargao Climate Field School for Farmers and Fisherfolk (P80.7 million). The Municipality of Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte, led by Mayor Alfredo Coro II, in partnership with Surigao State College of Technology, shall establish a sustainable end-to-end institutional system for the generation and application of locally-tailored climate information tools, build capacity to apply these, and to reduce possible economic losses due to climate change.
  • Ridge to Reef Disaster Risk Reduction and Management as an Adaptation Mechanism to Resiliency (P39.08 million). The municipality of Lanuza, Surigao del Sur, led by Mayor Salvacion Saloma-Azarcon, shall use the grant for the management, rehabilitation and protection of its watersheds, propagation of mangroves along the riverine, and provision of alternative livelihood to its constituents.
  • Building Resilience through Ecological-based Farming (P33.89 million). In partnership with the Philippine Partnership for the Development of the Human Resources in Rural Areas, the Municipality of San Francisco, Camotes Island, Cebu, led by Mayor Alfredo Arquillano, shall embark on capacity building activities to mainstream Climate-Resilient Family Farm Planning and WRDM technologies.
  • Promoting Resiliency and a Climate-informed Gerona (P38.1 million). In partnership with the Rice Watch and Action Network, the Municipality of Gerona, Tarlac, led by Mayor Eloy C. Eclar, shall improve climate information and warning services, enhance preparedness against climate-related hazards, and improve water resources leading towards sustainable development.

Gaerlan noted that most project proposals received by the PSF Secretariat confused future-oriented and anticipatory adaptation actions with business-as-usual measures. “Until science is applied to help LGUs in identifying appropriate adaptation measures, PSF cannot completely serve its purpose. The four approved projects showed potential because of their no-regret measures,” he said. “To help LGUs develop project proposals, the CCC is working to provide an end-to-end support system to empower LGUs with the means to determine gaps and explore most appropriate adaptation measures,” Gaerlan added.

For her part, Herrera said that the CCC will continue its capacity building initiatives to help LGUs develop their Local Climate Change Action Plans (LCCAPs). “LCCAPs define the specific strategies of the community in addressing the impacts of climate change. With LCCAPs in place, it would be easier for local governments and community organizations to develop appropriate adaptation programs for PSF funding,” she said.

The PSF was created by Republic Act No. 10174, which was authored and sponsored by Senator Loren Legarda, to provide long-term financial flows for climate change vulnerable communities.

With a programmed annual fund of at least P1 billion in the National Treasury, the PSF is intended to fund climate change adaptation projects of LGUs and accredited community organizations. This fund is on top of the annual appropriations allocated to LGUs for climate change mitigation and adaptation projects.