By Catherine J. Teves of PNA
Eligible local government units (LGUs) and community organizations nationwide can already apply for public grants to fund respective proposed climate change adaptation (CCA) projects and programs.
Government will draw such grants from the PhP1 billion People’s Survival Fund (PSF) programmed into the national budget to help promote nationwide adaptation to climate change.
“We’re ready to receive applications for funding,” Climate Change Commission (CCC) Asst. Sec. Joyceline Goco said Wednesday at PSF’s launch in Metro Manila.
LGUs eligible for PSF funding are those with high poverty incidence and exposure to climate risks and which host key biodiversity areas.
CCC also said community organizations will be eligible to access the fund upon accreditation based on organizational independence, financial management, participatory practices as well as track record and/or field of expertise.
Goco noted each application must identify the CCA project or program proposed to be undertaken and funding needed for this.
“There’s no cap for the proposed funding but the actual grant can be either lower or higher than this target amount depending on results of our evaluation,” she said.
Applications can be filed anytime as PSF will be an annual allocation to be sourced from the national budget, she noted.
Php 1 billion will be the minimum PSF to be programmed annually in such budget but Congress can increase this fund if the need arises.
If PSF funding for a particular year hasn’t been fully consumed, Goco said this could still be accessed in the future.
PSF can even be augmented by various sectors’ donations,endowments, grants and contributions so more CCA funds can be available nationwide, she said.
In 2012, government enacted RA 10174 which established PSF as a special fund in the national treasury as experts warned the Philippines is among countries most at risk for climate change’s impacts.
Such impacts are increasing onslaught of extreme weather events as well as sea level and temperature rise, they noted.
“Climate change is happening and will affect everyone especially the most vulnerable in our country,” Goco said.
She noted government didn’t rush PSF’s launch, opting to first establish mechanisms for transparent disbursement and use of the fund.
CCA measures aim at building up communities’ resilience to the changing climate so PSF must not be wasted, she said.
Among CCA undertakings eligible for PSF funding are those that promote use of flood-tolerant crops, improve coastal flood protection and help drainage systems cope with severe rain.
PSF can also be for forecasting and early warning systems and serve as guarantee for risk insurance needs of farmers and other stakeholders.
Interested parties can secure application forms and templates from PSF’s website then submit these and other required documents to CCC which serves as PSF’s Secretariat.
A technical evaluation committee will review the applications to determine feasibility of the proposed projects and programs.
“Such proposals must truly promote CCA and be aligned with the country’s development and climate policies,” Goco said.
The committee will present its corresponding recommendations to the PSF Board so this body can make the final decision on the applications.
CCC, Department of Budget and Management, National Economic and Development Authority, Department of Interior and Local Government, Philippine Commission for Women and a non-government representative comprise the PSF Board under Department of Finance.
“Release of the fund will be in tranches,” said Goco.
She also noted the PSF Board and its partners will monitor implementation and outcome of the approved projects and programs.
“Flawed implementation will disqualify proponents concerned from seeking PSF funds in the future,” she warned.
The Board reported already receiving some 13 proposals for PSF funding even before the launch.
Such proposals mostly cover flood control, agriculture and water in Mindanao and collectively seek funding exceeding Php 1 billion, the Board noted.
Those proposals are still subject to evaluation, however, the Board added.
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