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P14B earmarked for LGUs’ 2015 climate change mitigation programs

The national government has earmarked P14 billion for 2015 to help beef up various climate change mitigation campaigns and programs of local government units (LGUs).

The amount was disclosed by Philippine Climate Change Commissioner Undersecretary Naderev Saño in an interview with the press during the “Hazards and Communicating Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Measures” conference held at Subic Bay Freeport Zone in Zambales recently.

The budget allocation was made under Republic Act 10174, also known as People’s Survival Fund (PSF) Act of 2012, which states that the fund will be sourced from the national treasury to provide assistance to various sectors such as farmers, fishermen, nutrition, infrastructures and those that help in maintaining ecological balance, such as programs to promote disaster-resilient communities, river dredging and rehabilitation, and the construction of bicycle lanes.

Saño, however, said that the Department of Finance (DOF) is currently studying how to obtain funds for the local government, since the budget for survival fund is different from the calamity fund.

“Calamity fund is used after the disaster while the survival fund is a pre-emptive budget intended for climate change mitigation and adaptation,’’ said Saño.

He also said that a PSF board was formed to monitor and supervise LGUs on how or where their funds should be spent.

He added that the board will also ensure that the projects being proposed by the LGUs are important enough to merit the funds.

Organized by the Philippine Information Agency in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Luzon-wide confab saw participation from LGUs in Regions 1, 2, and 3; the Cordillera Administrative Region; and the National Capital Region.