Press Release
March 8, 2018

Legarda Vows to Fund More Local Climate Action
Hails Signing of P192M in Grants from People's Survival Fund

Senator Loren Legarda today said she will ensure that more climate action plans of local governments can be supported by the People's Survival Fund (PSF) after yesterday's signing of the first four PSF financing agreements, totaling P192 million.

The landmark move affirms the Duterte administration's commitment to building the country's resilience to both extreme weather events and the creeping impacts of climate change, said Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committees on Finance and Climate Change, principal author and sponsor of the Climate Change Act of 2009, and principal sponsor of the PSF, which was passed into law in 2012 as Republic Act No. 10174.

"Our local officials have struggled for years to secure our people's lives and livelihoods in the face of climate change. I championed the establishment of the People's Survival Fund because with enough funding and research support, these same officials could and would rise up to the challenge," Legarda said.

"Now that the funds for our four pioneering local government units are already moving, and more projects in the PSF pipeline are being considered, we hope the rest of Congress also sees the clear need not just to increase the funding for the PSF but to also climate-proof the national budget," she added. "The Philippine government must mobilize its own resources even as we demand the international community to honor their climate finance commitments."

Nine more projects totaling P980 million are under consideration by the PSF Board, which is chaired by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez.

Legarda, UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience and UNFCCC National Adaptation Plan Champion, also thanked the mayors and other local government officials of the first four LGUs to receive PSF funding - Del Carmen, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte; Lanuza, Surigao del Sur; Gerona, Tarlac; and San Francisco, Camotes Island, Cebu - for committing to the application.

"I salute our pioneering local chief executives for keeping the faith in us and in the process, and for paving the way for all other LGUs to also craft and implement climate-resilient programs," she said. "I want to thank in particular Lanuza mayor Salvacion Azarcon this International Women's Day for proving that women are leading in the frontlines of the climate crisis."

"I also laud the combined leadership of Secretary Dominguez of the Department of Finance; Commissioners Emmanuel De Guzman, Rachel Herrera and Noel Gaerlan of the Climate Change Commission; and all the other members of the PSF Board for leading us to this moment," she added.

"Our hard work is not over to be sure, as the impacts of climate change worsen. Yet with all these climate champions from government, civil society, academe and the business sector, I am confident that we can also seize the opportunities of climate action," Legarda concluded.

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