P1-B People’s Survival Fund now open to climate disaster-prone LGUs
Three years after it was passed into law, the People’s Survival Fund (PSF) may now be accessed by local government units (LGUs) and community organizations which want to implement programs which will focus on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.
The announcement was made by the Climate Change Commission on Wednesday as it officially opened its call for program proposals in a press launch at a hotel in Makati City.
In her speech, Climate Change office Deputy Executive Director Joyceline Goco underscored the need of funding initiatives which will mitigate the risks posed by climate change.
“Climate change is happening now, and it is sure to affect everyone, especially our most vulnerable population as well as our most-vulnerable communities. We all agree that that there is a need to implement adaptation measures to diminish the risks brought by climate change and increase the capacities of our local governments and communities to sustain the negative impacts of climate change. However, undertaking these measures entails cost. Finance is necessary to fund projects and interventions that respond to the impacts of climate change,” Goco said.
The PSF was created through Republic Act 10174 which was signed into law in August 2012. Under Section 19 of RA 10174, the PSF will have an opening balance of P1 billion and will be earmarked in the annual General Appropriations Act (GAA). The savings from the previous PSF allotment can be added to the succeeding year’s PSF allocation.
The climate adaptation fund is said to be unique due to the following characteristics: no timeline and no limit for proposed amount for the project, 30-day evaluation and approval process, and a board which is composed of members from the government and non-government sectors.
PSF board member Red Constantino said that the unique set-up of the PSF board shows that “the government should not handle the climate change problem alone.”
Who can access PSF?
Both local government units and community organizations can access the PSF, subject to eligibility requirements. For LGUs, they should have a high poverty incidence, vulnerability to climate change risks and presence of identified and delineated key biodiversity areas.
Meanwhile, local and community organizations should be accredited under DILG Memo Circular 2013 – 70/ DSWD-DBM-COA Joint Resolution 2014-01. Unaccredited organizations can also propose projects subject to the approval of the Climate Change Office.
The proposals will be evaluated based on their “effectiveness at reducing vulnerability of local communities exposed to climate change” and the “capability of addressing adaptation priorities.”
Some projects that can be funded by the PSF include adaptation activities, programs enabling preparedness to climate-related hazards, institutional development, disease control and prevention and strengthening existing adaptation initiatives.
Why just now?
When asked by the press on why the PSF was released three years after it was passed into law, Goco said that they are ironing out the details on the evaluation, monitoring and auditing aspects of the fund before it can be ready for the public.
The PSF board also had consultations with the various sectors so that they can facilitate the accreditation of local community organizations.
“We don’t want to reinvent the wheel. We want to look at the current processes in place,” Goco said.
In terms of accountability, the PSF will be subject to the auditing of the Commission on Audit and proposals will be subjected to field validation.
According to Goco, they have received 13 proposals, most of which are focused on flood control and agriculture. The proposals exceeded the P1 billion PSF but are yet to be evaluated by the board.
LGUs and government organizations which are interested in submitting project proposals to access the PSF can check the requirements online.