The Department of Finance (DOF) announced that a total of P180-million has been approved for release to fund climate change adaptation projects in Mindanao.
In a statement on Friday, the DOF said the People’s Survival Fund Board (PSF)—the country’s national climate fund dedicated to finance climate change adaptation initiatives of local governments and communities—has approved a total of P120 million for two climate adaptation projects in Mindanao.
The Board also approved a P60 million grant for funding a facility to support local governments in developing projects that are scientific and focused on risk reduction to meet PSF requirements.
The PSF funding will support the projects of the Lanuza, Surigao Del Sur and Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte local governments’ climate change adaptation plans.
Lanuza, a fourth class municipality, is proposing a total of P47.5 million for their climate adaptation projects. Of this amount, P39.1 million is proposed for funding under PSF with P8.4 million as local government unit (LGU) counterpart.
Del Carmen, a fifth class municipality, is proposing a total of P95.6 million. Of this amount, P80.7 million is for funding under PSF and P14.9 million as LGU and state college counterpart.
The key approaches to be taken for these projects include integrating natural resource protection and climate-resilient livelihood; protecting watershed, river, and mangroves; providing technical assistance to vulnerable farmers and fisherfolk, and mechanisms to reduce vector-borne diseases affecting agricultural dependent households; promoting community education on weather forecasting and climate variability to support decision making for agro-fishery practices; and building a regional center for research and extension.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd, PSF Board chair, said the government is taking concrete steps to finance its own adaptation initiatives.
“This is being undertaken even as the Philippines accounts for an insignificant share of the world’s carbon emissions but is nonetheless one of the developing countries most vulnerable to climate change,” he said.
Dominguez said proof of this is the allocation of funds from the national budget to ensure that local governments are able to establish or enhance their capacities to adapt to the multiple effects of climate change.
“Both the LGUs of Lanuza and Del Carmen are located in vulnerable areas where poverty may further worsen if no adaptation measures are undertaken,” he added.
Secretary and Vice Chairperson Emmanuel de Guzman of the Climate Change Commission (CCC) stressed that the PSF Board is ensuring that proposed projects for funding are reviewed by technical agencies and the CCC’s panel of experts.
“We are also ensuring that the process for LGUs to access the fund is made easier with the adoption of new guidelines for the submission and evaluation of proposals,” he said.
De Guzman said the CCC is committed to support the capacity building of LGUs to develop their local climate change action plans or LCCAPs and to access the PSF for recommended climate change adaptation and mitigation measures in their projects.
“Less than 10 percent of the country’s LGUs have such plans,” he said.
National Treasurer Roberto Tan said, “The Board intends to launch calls for proposals this November-December and another one in the second quarter of 2017. On top of that, we have relaxed the requirements and simplified the way that submissions are made.”
“The Board also acknowledges that LGUs will need all the support they can get to ensure that their projects will incorporate an adaptation aspect. That is why the Board approved an initial P60 million for the most vulnerable LGUs to support their readiness and help them prepare projects that will meet the PSF criteria. If there is more demand, we can revisit this figure, “ Tan added.
The PSF Board is composed of six government sector representatives and three NGO representatives.
The government representatives are the secretaries/heads of the Department of Finance, National Economic and Development Authority, Department of Budget and Management; Department of Interior and Local Government; Philippine Commission on Women, and CCC.
The current sectoral representatives of the Board are Renato Constantino, Professor Rex Cruz and Peter Perfecto, representing the NGO, academe and private sectors, respectively.