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RIZAL REP. NOGRALES TO LGUS: USE CLIMATE FUND

As a P1-billion fund for climate change projects remains under-utilized, a neophyte lawmaker urged local government units to apply for funding for their projects.

According to Rizal 2nd District Rep. Fidel Nograles, “the fund remains underused even as our communities are perennially laid to waste because of calamities that have become more intense.”

The Climate Change Commission recently revealed that only ₱164 million of the ₱1-billion People’s Survival Fund has been disbursed to LGUs since 2016.

“Lalo lang pong lalala ang epekto ng climate change, kaya kailangang maging seryoso din tayo sa pagpapatupad ng mga programa na sisiguro sa kaligtasan ng mga kababayan natin.”

He advised LGUs, though, to “apply more rigor in fulfilling requirements for funding” to avoid the rejection of their applications.

The Climate Change Commission recently revealed that only ₱164 million of the ₱1-billion People’s Survival Fund has been disbursed to LGUs since 2016.

To date, only six climate adaptation projects have been approved since the PSF was set up through Republic Act 10174 in 2012.

A report by the Bureau of Treasury last year said that 129 proponents from LGUs and local community organizations had pitched 172 project proposals for the PSF worth a total of P14.57 billion.

However, most applications failed to pass the initial screening due to incomplete documents or because the project activities are not eligible, the report said.

Nograles said that LGUs should discard the “pwede na” attitude when it comes to conceptualizing climate adaptation programs.

Political will and a dedicated technical team are also necessary in preparing project or program proposals, he added.

A report by the Bureau of Treasury last year said that 129 proponents from LGUs and local community organizations had pitched 172 project proposals for the PSF worth a total of P14.57 billion.

“Mula sa pag-isip pa lang ng programa, dapat masiguro nating pulido at base sa siyensiya ang mga ito. Huwag mahihiyang magtanong at kumonsulta sa mga expert para hindi ma-reject ang application,” the Harvard-trained lawyer said.

Nograles meanwhile advised the CCC to revisit its strategy to entice more LGUs to submit their proposals.

“Kasi kung walang kumakagat, baka hindi epektibo ang impormasyong bumababa sa mga LGU,” said Nograles.

He also called on LGUs to “adopt a mitigation mindset” to minimize dealing with heavy losses caused by calamities.

The Philippines ranked 17th in the world as the most affected country from extreme weather events in the Global Climate Risk Index (CRI) 2021. The country ranked 7th in the CRI in economic losses, with climate-related events costing the Philippines a total of US$ 4.5 billion in absolute losses in 2018.

“The gravity of our losses in life and income should spur us towards crafting programs that seek to protect our people against the threat of climate change,” Nograles said.

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