New improved guidelines for submission and P60 million project development support facility launched
The People’s Survival Fund Board (PSF) has approved a total of P120 million in funds for two (2) adaptation projects in Mindanao.
In its meeting on Nov. 22, the Board also allocated a P60 million grant funding facility to support Local Government Units (LGUs) in developing and enhancing design of projects that are science, risk-based to meet PSF requirements.
PSF funding will support the projects of the LGUs of Lanuza, Surigao Del Sur and Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte that aim to support the implementation of the respective local climate change adaptation plans of these local governments.
The projects consider the climate risks in the localities.
The key approaches 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.
“We are taking concrete steps to finance our 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,” said Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, who chairs the PSF Board.
Dominguez said, “Proof of this is the provision of finance from our own national budget to ensure that our LGUs 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) highlighted that, “The PSF Board is ensuring that proposed projects to be funded go through thorough review by technical agencies and the panel of experts of CCC. We are also ensuring that the process for LGUs to access the fund is made easier and more efficient with the adoption of new guidelines for the submission and evaluation of proposals. 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 plans. Less than 10 percent of the country’s LGUs have such plans.
National Treasurer Roberto Tan, who was designated by Dominguez to preside over the Board meetings on his behalf, remarked, “This is indeed a milestone for the Board and the country. We intend to review more proposals by early next year. The Board intends to launch calls for proposals this November-December 2016 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 adaptation lens. That is why the Board approved an initial P60 million for the most vulnerable LGUs to support their readiness and help them prepare implementable projects that will meet the PSF criteria. If there is more demand, we can revisit this figure, ” Tan mentioned.
Lanuza, a 4th class municipality, is proposing a total of P47.5 million (of which P39.1 million is proposed for funding under PSF with P8.4 million as LGU counterpart) for their adaptation project, while Del Carmen, a 5th class municipality, is proposing a total of P95.6 million (of which P80.7 million is for funding under PSF and P14.9 million as LGU and state college counterpart).
Created under Republic Act (RA) 9729 as amended by RA 10174, the People’s Survival Fund is the Philippines’ national climate fund dedicated to finance climate change adaptation initiatives of LGUs and communities.
The PSF Board is composed of six (6) governmental representatives and three (3) non-government sectoral 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 Mr. Renato Constantino, Prof. Rex Cruz, Ph.D., and Mr. Peter Perfecto, representing the non-government, academe and private sector, respectively.