PSF okays P120-M adaptation funding for Mindanao LGUs

A P120-million allocation intended to fund two adaptation projects for Mindanao was recently approved by the members of the board of the People’s Survival Fund (PSF), the Department of Finance said on Friday.

PSF, the DOF added, also approved the allocation of P60 million grant funding facility to enhance and support the capabilities of Local Government Units in developing and designing programs and projects that are science and risk-based to meet PSF requirements.

The funding from the PSF will specifically support the projects of the LGUs of Lanuza, Surigao Del Sur and Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte.

The two municipalities are currently working to implement their respective local climate change adaptation plans, the DOF added.

The DOF said that among the key approaches that PSF require from LGUs in their programs and projects include the integration of natural resource protection and climate-resilient livelihood; protecting watershed, river, and mangroves; providing technical assistance to vulnerable farmers and fisherfolks.

Projects, under the PSF, must also provide 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,” said DOF Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, who also chairs the PSF Board.

The measures are 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, Dominguez added.

“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,” the secretary further said.

He said that both the Lanuza and Del Carmen LGUs are located in vulnerable areas where poverty may further worsen if no adaptation measures are undertaken.

Lanuza is a 4th class municipality and 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.

The town of 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).

PSF is the country’s national climate fund created under Republic Act (RA) 9729 as amended by RA 10174.

The fund is dedicated to finance climate change adaptation initiatives of LGUs and communities.

The PSF Board is composed of six representatives from the governmental and three from sectoral representatives.

Representatives from the government include the secretaries of the DOF, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the Department of Budget and Management (DBM); Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG); Philippine Commission on Women (PCW); and the Climate Change Commission (CCC).

Sectoral representatives to the board include Renato Constantino, Prof. Rex Cruz, Ph.D., and Mr. Peter Perfecto, representing the non-government, academe and private sector, respectively.