Climate change fund launched

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LOCAL government units and community organizations may soon access the P1-billion People’s Survival Fund (PSF) for climate change adaptation projects, the Department of Finance (DOF) announced on Wednesday.

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Created under Republic Act (RA) 10174, the PSF is envisioned to enable the government to address problems related to climate change.

The fund is intended for adaptation activities that cover land and water resources management, agriculture and fisheries, and health, the DOF said, noting it guarantees the risk insurance of farmers, agricultural workers and other stakeholders.

It will also be used to establish regional centers and information networks and strengthen existing ones to support climate change adaptation initiatives and projects like forecasting and early warning systems against, preventive measures, planning, preparedness and management of impacts, including contingency planning for droughts and floods.

RA 10174 mandates the creation of a board for strategic guidance in managing and using the fund.

Headed by the Finance secretary, the board members will include the vice chairperson of the Climate Change Commission, Budget and Management secretary, National Economic and Development Authority director general, Interior and Local Government secretary, chairperson of the Philippine Commission on Women, representatives from the academe and scientific community, business sector, and non-government organizations.

“At present, the PSF board is finalizing details for the implementation of the fund,” the Finance Department said

It said a call for proposal will be available in the coming days and requests for applications can be sent to psf@climate.gov.ph.

“The Climate Change Office-Climate Change Commission, as secretariat to the PSF board, is tasked to receive and pre-assess the proposals,” it added.

The DOF said the PSF is an example of the government’s commitment to protect the vulnerable against climate change.

The Philippines recently led a call for concerted action against climate change, focusing on climate finance as a tool during the Vulnerable 20 Summit in Lima, Peru.

Citing World Bank figures, the DOF said the 20 most vulnerable countries face as much as 2.5 percent of the group’s yearly gross domestic product. The economic losses were estimated at $45 billion in 2010, and were estimated to increase by almost 10 times to $418 billion in 2030.

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