MANILA, Sept. 4 — The creation of a climate change fund has further raised the quality of pro-poor governance of the Aquino Administration, particularly in the rural areas where economic activities are natural resources-based and are climate sensitive.
Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje stressed this Tuesday in view of the passage of Republic Act (RA) 10174, also known as People’s Survival Fund (PSF), establishing a climate change fund with an initial P1 billion per year.
“At a critical moment in the fight against climate change, the national leadership has stepped up its response to the imperatives of climate change. President Aquino has practically thrown a lifeline to communities that will enable them to protect the productivity of their areas’ ecosystems in which their livelihoods are rooted in,” Paje said.
Calling it “Smart Fund,” the environment chief said the fund can be tapped directly by local government units and communities to support their initiatives to adapt to climate change and reduce disaster risks. The PSF centralizes funds from both the government and the private sector and directs them to where need is paramount.
The fund will be handled by a board to be chaired by the Secretary of the Finance, with the vice-chair of the Climate Change Commission as the board’s vice-chair. Other members of board will comprise of representatives from the departments of Interior and Local Government, and Budget and Management, National Economic and Development Authority, Philippine Commission on Women, and various financial institutions, business sector and non-governmental organizations.
Meanwhile, apart from being part of the advisory board for the Climate Change Commission, Paje said that under RA 10174, the DENR is vested with the responsibility of “oversee(ing) the establishment and maintenance of a climate change information management system and network, including on climate change risks, activities and investments, in collaboration with other concerned national government agencies, institutions and local government units.
RA 10174 was signed into law by President Aquino on Aug. 16, 2012 to provide long-term finance streams to enable the government effectively address the problems of climate change. It also amended RA 9729, otherwise known as the “Climate Change Act of 2009”. (PNA)