People’s survival fund pushed in the HouseBy Karen Boncocan
MANILA, Philippines — House deputy speaker Lorenzo Tanada III is pushing for the passage of the People’s Survival Fund which he said might just be what the country needs in times of disasters.
Environment Secretary Ramon Paje himself on Wednesday said that intense rains and massive floods will be a usual occurrence in Metro Manila as one of the effects of climate change.
But Tanada believes that something can still be done, saying that House Bill 6235 whose counterpart is Senate Bill 2811 sponsored by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile will be effective in rolling out climate change mitigation and disaster risk reduction programs.
Enrile has recently called on President Benigno Aquino III to approve the proposed measure. He said the bill would be relevant to Filipinos who have been greatly affected by the extreme weather disturbances.
The bill has been passed by both chambers of Congress and its bicam report has been transmitted to Malacañang for the President’s action.
“Climate change adaptive cities are very important especially for vulnerable countries like the Philippines. Likewise, marginalized farmers and fisherfolk must be able to adopt to prolonged droughts, incessant rains that submerge farms fin floodwaters for weeks, and rising sea levels and temperature,” Tanada said.
What is important with the measure, aside from the yearly replenished P1 billion budget, is that it provides “incentives for local communities to directly access funds that will finance climate change adaptive projects, devoid of the politicized trickle-down mechanism that has long plagued funding systems,” said the lawmaker.
He added that the bill would force officials to carry out long-term plans for their constituents “rather than quick-gestation, high impact projects that just fits into a three-year term, good enough for re-election.”
Civil society groups and other organizations will also find themselves with the capability to take action in times of need and able to propose possibly small but relevant projects, according to Tanada.