LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) revealed some P1.8 billion is still available under the Peoples Survival Fund which could be accessed by local governments to fund their respective climate change adaptation and mitigation projects for this year.
Kairos dela Cruz, associate for climate policy of the ICSC, said the fund for this year was accumulated from the P1 billion appropriation for the Peoples Survival Fund for 2015 and 2016 and is ready for access by the local governments whose proposals for climate change adaptation and mitigation will pass the stringent process required for the cascading of funds for the programmed projects.
The Peoples Survival Fund was established by virtue of Republic Act 10174 with a P1 billion annual appropriation in 2012 to help local governments bankroll the implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation programs to empower communities to be disaster resilient.
The ICSC, in coordination with the Canadian embassy and the State-run Benguet State University (BSU), recently sponsored the conduct of a two-day seminar-workshop on how to empower local officials in Benguet and Mountain Province on how to iron out their project proposals to be able to access funds from the Peoples Survival Fund to bankroll the implementation of their programmed projects geared towards protecting the harvest of their constituents and for their adoptability to climate change.
ICSC is the civil society representative to the Peoples Survival Fund board, which accesses and approves proposals for funding climate change adaptation and mitigation measures submitted by concerned local governments. Last November, the PSF board approved its first two projects, one in Del Carmen, Surigao, Surigao del Norte and the other in Lanuza, Surigao del Sur, having a total amount of P120 million.
During the first year of its operation, some P500 million was placed as unprogrammed funds followed by another similar amount for unprogrammed funds in 2013 but not funds for allocated for the PSF in 2014.
Dela Cruz explained the PSF when depleted because of the numerous approved proposals from local governments could be replenished by local and international sources, thus, local governments are free to submit proposals with unlimited funding for approval by the PSF board.
From 2015-2020, the Canadian embassy committed $2.65 billion in climate finance for developing countries and it is also working with countries around the world to demonstrate leadership and take global action on climate change.
For his part Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines john T. Holmes said the Canadian government is pleased to support the capacity-building workshop on climate inclusive planning to help enable local government units plan, mobilize, and access climate finance from existing sources such as as the Peoples Survival Fund.