• The essence of accessing the People’s Survival Fund



    WHAT is the People’s Survival Fund (PSF)?

    The PSF is the government’s flagship climate finance program. It is a resultant program of the 2012 PSF Law (Republic Act 10174), which addressed the lack of climate finance provisions in the 2009 Climate Change Act (RA 9729). It intends to finance climate change adaptation projects proposed by local government units (LGUs) and accredited local community organizations. It also supplements the annual appropriations allocated by relevant government agencies and local government units for climate change-related programs and projects.

    By law, the Fund has an annual rolling minimum budget allocation of P1 billion in the national budget appropriated through the Climate Change Commission. This amount shall not be reverted to the National Treasury regardless of its utilization and can be further augmented through additional budget allocations or through financial grants and donations.

    Climate change adaptation (CCA) programs and projects to be financed under PSF should be strategically aligned with the ultimate goal of the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP), which is to build the adaptive capacities of men and women in their communities, increase the resilience of the vulnerable sectors and natural ecosystems to climate change, and optimize mitigation opportunities towards gender-responsive and rights-based sustainable development. Also, these climate change adaptation (CCA) projects must also be aligned to the seven strategic priorities of NCCAP that includes: a) food security; b) water sufficiency; c) environmental and ecological stability; d) human security; e) sustainable energy; f) climate-smart industries and services; and g) knowledge and capacity development.

    What are the programs and projects that can be funded by PSF?
    Under Section 20 of RA 10174, some of these programs and projects that can be funded by PSF are as follows:

    a. Adaptation activities, where sufficient information is available to warrant such activities, in the areas of water resources management, land management, agriculture and fisheries, health, infrastructure development, natural ecosystems, including mountainous and coastal ecosystems;

    b. Improvement of the monitoring of vector-borne diseases triggered by climate change, and in this context improving disease control and prevention;

    c. Forecasting and early warning systems as part of preparedness for climate-related hazards;

    d. Supporting institutional development, for local governments, in partnership with local communities and civil society groups, for preventive measures, planning, preparedness and management of impacts relating to climate change, including contingency planning, in particular, for droughts and floods in areas prone to extreme climate events;

    e. Strengthening existing; and where needed, establish regional centers and information networks to support climate change adaptation initiatives and projects;

    f. Serving as a guarantee for risk insurance needs for farmers, agricultural workers and other stakeholders; and

    g. Community adaptation support programs by local organizations accredited by the Climate Change Commission (CCC).

    Who can access PSF?
    Only the local government units (LGUs) and local community organizations (LCOs) are eligible to receive the resources from the People’s Survival Fund (PSF). PSF will finance the agreed costs for all the activities related to climate change adaptation projects.

    What are the main considerations in preparing the project proposal for PSF?

    The project is not a “business-as-usual” project. Aside from the financial aspect and social impacts, the project must contain climate science, which includes the following: a) data on climate-related hazards and their effects (e.g. tropical cyclones, flooding, storm surge, drought); b) climate scenarios and projections (e.g. rainfall, temperature); c) people and areas exposed to various climate hazards (e.g. population, agricultural land, coastal communities).

    How to access the PSF?
    There is a Call for Proposals twice a year (April and October).

    Once these project proposals are submitted, these will be evaluated and reviewed by experts. Only those that will pass in the evaluation will be endorsed and approved for funding by the PSF board, which consist of the Secretary of Department of Finance (DOF) as chair, vice chair of the Climate Change Commission (CCC) as vice chair, Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the Director General of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), the Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the chair of the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), and the representatives from the academe and scientific sector, business, and non-government organizations (NGOs).

    For the more detailed description and requirements of the People’s Survival Fund, please visit the http://psf.climate.gov.ph/

    Glenn S. Banaguas is a multi-awarded prolific research scientist and one of the leading experts on environment, climate change, and disaster risks in the Philippines. He analyzes conundrums brought by climate change/variability and extreme events using scientific models and mathematical simulations; applies participatory methods to program development; and recommends science-based policy solutions. He is one of the Outstanding Young Scientists (OYS) of the Philippines conferred by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST). He is the US-Asean Fellow for Science and Technology and the representative to the European Union (EU)-Asia Expert Panel for climate diplomacy. Glenn took up Climate Change and Energy at the Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University and Sustainability Leadership at Yale University.


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    1 Comment

    1. The author may present himself as a technical expert, but seeing your committee list the appropriate disaster agencies competent in the science of weather and climate change disasters are conspicuously absent from the plan, PAGASA, Phi-Volcs, MGB, OCD, NRDDMC, Red Cross etc.

      If you remove the expert technical S&T disaster lead agencies, leaving mostly non-tech LGU’s, NGO’s, Sectoral Groups, and financial Institutions I predict too much politics and incompetence will enter the PSF as usual. Without the technical experts checks and balances on the policy makers, the fund will be seen as a source of money first, and solution to climate adaptation second. In short makakaperahan at pagkakapolitikahan nanaman like the pork-barrel all over again.

      I don’t even know why this writer excludes international organization involvement of UNDP that has so much in the way of experience and expertise so we can benefit from their best practices to avoid the usual trial and error so as not to waste the PSF needlessly.

      First and foremost, do not exclude those in the appropriate mandated implementing gov’t agencies. It gives the impression you are up to no good.