More LGUs get access to P1-B climate fund

Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - July 25, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — More local government units (LGUs) will have access to the P1-billion People’s Survival Fund for their climate change adaptation projects with the launch of the free PSF e-Learning Platform and Mentoring Sessions next month, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) said Tuesday.

CCC secretary Emmanuel de Guzman said the PSF e-Learning Platform and Mentoring Sessions and the rollout of the Communities for Resilience (CORE) Modular Training for the Yolanda Corridor affirm the Duterte administration’s commitment to strengthen the country’s resilience to the devastating impacts of climate change. 

Yolanda Corridor refers to the 171 cities and municipalities affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in November 2013.

“Climate resilience is at the heart of the Duterte administration’s development agenda. This inspires us in the CCC to come up with innovative solutions that will enable more LGUs to implement community-led adaptation initiatives,” De Guzman said.

Republic Act No. 10174, which was passed in 2012, is a national funding mechanism to support LGUs in implementing climate change adaptation projects. It maintains an annual allocation of P1 billion.

“CCC has accelerated the implementation of its CORE Program in the past years to help LGUs develop and enhance their Local Climate Change Action Plans and to assist PSF project proponents develop science and risk-based adaptation funding proposals,” said CCC PSF unit head Assistant Secretary Romell Antonio Cuenca.

Since the PSF grant approval and disbursement system was established, the PSF board has approved six climate change adaptation projects amounting to P330 million.

These are the disaster risk reduction and management response as coping mechanism to resiliency in Lanuza, Surigao del Sur; Siargao climate field school for farmers and fisherfolk in Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte; building resilience through community-based ecological farming in San Francisco, Camotes Island, Cebu; promoting resiliency in climate-informed Gerona, Tarlac; establishment and sustainable management of river ecosystem in Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte; and Saub watershed ecosystem rehabilitation and flood risk reduction for increased resilience in Sarangani.

Cuenca said most of the proposals received by the PSF board secretariat at the Department of Finance have been either business-as-usual projects or the type usually funded under regular programs of national government agencies, and not climate change adaptation which the law asks – thus, the low approval rate.

“This year, we are working towards widening the scope of technical support to LGUs for accessing the PSF. An e-learning platform has been developed, and a series of one-on-one mentoring sessions is set for the third quarter. They aim to improve the soundness and worthiness of submitted proposals and to assist LGUs in developing full-blown proposals from their concept notes,” Cuenca said.

The PSF e-Learning Platform, which runs through an open source learning management system, will be conducted via a 12-week online course for LGUs and community organizations to enhance their knowledge on climate and disaster risk and vulnerability assessment, the PSF and its approval processes, and other sources of climate finance.

There will be two batches per year, which will run from August-October and February-June.

Cuenca said the CCC is also launching the PSF Monitoring and Evaluation System where proponents can track their proposals and submit documents online.

In this manner, he said, the process of accessing the fund becomes easier and more convenient and with less cost to proponents. The system will also ensure a more efficient and transparent evaluation and approval process for PSF grants, he said.

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