Senator Loren Legarda today expressed optimism about the inclusion of the one billion-peso People’s Survival Fund (PSF) in the 2013 National Government Budget.
“As we continue to experience the impact of climate change through extreme weather events such as heavy monsoon rains and prolonged droughts, we have stronger reasons to prioritize climate change adaptation and immediately finance the People’s Survival Fund created by virtue of the amended climate change law,” said Legarda, the Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change.
The Senator, also the United Nations Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia – Pacific, is the principal sponsor of R.A. 10174 or the amended Climate Change Act. This amendatory law approved by Congress approved last June and signed by President Aquino later in August establishes the PSF, a special fund in the National Treasury in the amount of one billion pesos. It will be appropriated annually under the General Appropriations Act for the financing of adaptation programs and projects based on the National Strategic Framework on Climate Change. The fund may also be augmented by donations, endowments, grants and contributions.
Legarda also noted that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) should take the lead, because as specified in R.A. 10174, undertaking the formulation of the annual national budget in a way that ensures the appropriate prioritization and allocation of funds to support climate change-related programs and projects in the annual program of government is their responsibility.
“This matter is of utmost importance because the PSF will help local governments’ adaptation activities, such as in the areas of land and water resources management, agriculture and fisheries, health, infrastructure development, and natural ecosystems,” she stressed.
“Furthermore, the PSF will support the improvement of monitoring, controlling and prevention of diseases triggered by climate change, establishment of forecasting and early warning systems, and strengthening institutional development, for local governments, for preventive measures, planning, preparedness and management of impacts relating to climate change,” Legarda concluded.***