Press Release
October 28, 2015


Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero is urging the Climate Change Commission (CCC) to immediately disseminate the criteria for funding climate change adaptation proposals to guide local government units (LGUs) in their efforts to access the P1-billion People's Survival Fund (PSF).

Escudero, who sought the release of the PSF as the country enters another destructive typhoon season, advised LGUs to start thinking of measures that will proactively address extreme weather events and other impacts of climate change on their constituents.

"Huwag naman tayong mag-propose ng pagbili ng mga rubber boats at life vests lamang. Kailangan nating tingnan ang climate change bilang isang pang-matagalang issue na nangangailangan din ng pang-matagalang solusyon," said Escudero, chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources.

Under the 2015 national budget, P1 billion has been earmarked for PSF in the spending program of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Malacanang announced that it has finalized the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the PSF, three years after the special fund was established by virtue of Republic Act 10124 or An Act Establishing the People's Survival Fund to Provide Long-Term Finance Streams to Enable the Government to Effectively Address the Problem of Climate Change. The CCC will start accepting proposals from LGUs starting October 28, Malacanang said.

Escudero said LGUs could seek funding to map their municipalities and cities to see which parts are most vulnerable to flooding, landslides and other impacts of extreme weather events. They can also make projections on temperature changes and rainfall.

"We need to establish reliable information about the vulnerability of different areas and sectors to climate change. This will guide all future infrastructure development projects, reforestation efforts and livelihood initiatives," the senator said.

"In the face of unpredictability in weather patterns, knowledge is our best weapon in moving forward," according to Escudero, an independent vice-presidential candidate who is leading all pre-election surveys.

Escudero pointed out that 68 of the country's 81 provinces are vulnerable to rain-induced landslides and 30 percent of the entire provincial land area is prone to flooding, as per data from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

This covers more than 102,000 square kilometers of the Philippines' provincial land area, or an area 159 times the size of Metro Manila, that will likely be flooded during typhoons.

The CCC has created the first 3D climate change map in 2013 for Cagayan de Oro but has not been able to replicate it for the rest of the country.

"LGUs can do this at the local level, and using the PSF, can tap experts to help them plot out the effects of climactic factors on their economy, geography and initial adaptation measures," Escudero said.

He also said LGUs can also use the fund to establish a system to provide risk insurance for farmers and other affected stakeholders.

The Philippines has been identified as one of the most vulnerable counties to climate change.

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