June 8, 2012
Legarda Reports Passage of People's Survival Fund in Congress
Senator Loren Legarda today announced that the People's Survival Fund (PSF) has already passed the final stage in Congress following the approval of the bicameral conference committee report by both the Senate and the House of Representatives before the adjournment of the Legislative Session on Wednesday.
Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and sponsor of the bill, said that she is optimistic that the President will sign the measure into law soon.
"I am pleased that both houses of Congress saw the importance of the People's Survival Fund, which will complement the Climate Change Law by helping achieve its objectives through provision of funds to local governments and communities for their climate change adaptation programs," she explained.
The PSF is a special fund in the National Treasury--in the amount of one billion pesos that will be appropriated annually under the General Appropriations Act--for the financing of adaptation programs and projects based on the National Strategic Framework on Climate Change. The fund may also be augmented by donations, endowments, grants and contributions.
"The ill effects of a changing climate can be prevented if we consider climate change adaptation not as a cost but a wise investment. This measure is anchored on the fact that we need to decentralize responsibilities and resources for climate change efforts. It is time we provide the means to motivate local participation and create programs that matter to our people," Legarda stressed.
The Senator explained that the fund shall be used to support local governments' adaptation activities, such as in the areas of land and water resources management, agriculture and fisheries, health, infrastructure development, and natural ecosystems.
It will also support the improvement of the monitoring, controlling and prevention of diseases triggered by climate change; establishment of forecasting and early warning systems; and strengthening institutional development, for local governments, for preventive measures, planning, preparedness and management of impacts relating to climate change.
"There is no substitute for national and local government budget that are climate change-adaptive. The measure will allow us to pole-vault toward ensuring disaster- and climate change-resilient communities," Legarda concluded.
The bill, principally authored by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, also mandated the Department of Budget and Management to undertake the formulation of the annual government budget in a way that ensures the appropriate prioritization and allocation of funds to support climate change-related programs and projects.
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