A legislator on Saturday said local governments should apply for the funding of their ecology-related activities from the P1 billion still unused appropriation for climate-change projects.
“The fund remains underused even as our communities are perennially laid to waste because of calamities that have become more intense,” Rizal Rep. Fidel Nograles said.
“The ill effects of climate change will worsen that is why we have to be serious in implementing projects meant to enhance the safety of our people,” he added.
He advised local governments to “apply more rigor in fulfilling requirements for funding” to avoid the rejection of their applications.
The Climate Change Commission recently revealed that only P164 million of the P1-billion People’s Survival Fund has been disbursed to local governments since 2016.
To date, only six climate adaptation projects have been approved since the PSF was set up through Republic Act No. 10174 in 2012.
A report by the Bureau of Treasury last year said that 129 proponents from local governments 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 documentation or because the project activities were not eligible, the report said.
Nograles said that LGUs should discard the “this can do” attitude when it comes to conceptualizing climate adaptation programs.
“From conceptualization, projects should be compliant with scientific principles. Do not be ashamed to seek the help of experts to avoid rejection of application,” he said.
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 terms of economic losses, with climate-related events costing the Philippines a total of $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.