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Keynote Speech: Seminar-Workshop on Enhancing the Local Climate Change Action Plan (LCCAP) and Developing a People’s Survival Fund (PSF) Project Proposal

December 18, 2018

Keynote Speech of Senator Loren Legarda*
Seminar-Workshop on Enhancing the Local Climate Change Action Plan (LCCAP) and Developing a People’s Survival Fund (PSF) Project Proposal
December 18, 2018 | San Jose, Antique

*Delivered by Commissioner Rachel Herrera, Climate Change Commission

Good morning and thank you to the Climate Change Commission, in partnership with the DILG-Local Government Academy, for organizing this event, as well as to the representatives of our government agencies, members of the civil society, and our LGU officials from my home province of Antique, for taking the time to participate in this training-workshop.

When I authored the Climate Change Act of 2009, which created the Climate Change Commission, the vision was to establish a national policymaking and coordinating body that could truly support our local government units to address climate impacts at the community level.

It is important that building resilience or implementing adaptation is incited and sustained on the ground. As we all know, our communities bear the brunt of climate impacts—such as typhoons, droughts, flooding, landslides, storm surges, and other extreme weather and slow onset events—which have caused too many lives and damaged our livelihoods and natural resources.

I wanted our LGUs to fully understand the risks and vulnerabilities related to climate change and the consequences of inaction, in order to fully embrace adaptation and integrate climate action in all aspects of local governance.

Beyond grasping climate change principles and concepts, however, I wanted to enable real climate action for our communities. The Philippines is a low-emitter of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which causes global warming and climate change, but we cannot wait for international assistance when our communities are constantly at risk.

In 2012, I sponsored Republic Act 10174, which amended the Climate Change Act, to provide funding grants for adaptation projects by our local government units and organizations. We call this the People’s Survival Fund or PSF, a pioneering local climate finance mechanism, with an annual allocation of one billion pesos.

Since 2016, six municipalities have already acquired grants for resilience-building projects. These include: the establishment of a climate field school, ridge-to-reef adaptation, ecological-based farming, enhancement of climate information services, sustainable management of river ecosystem, and watershed ecosystem rehabilitation.

The number of approved projects is quite low than what I would have wanted, but the number of submissions expresses the huge need and interest from our LGUs and organizations to access it. There is, however, difficulty in conveying how these project proposals can actually address the adaptation needs of the communities, while also helping reduce poverty and protect biodiversity and the environment.

These can be further fleshed out in the workshop sessions, but the challenge to my kasimanwa is this: If other LGUs have already secured funding from the PSF, why can’t my home province of Antique?

Antique has so much to protect and impart on future generations. Fifteen of the 18 towns of our province are coastal. We have rich fishing grounds in Cuyo East Pass, Sulu Sea, and other municipal waters.

I have called for the protection of the Northwest Panay Peninsula Park, the Sibalom Natural Park, the Malandog River, and other natural heritage of the province. I have also funded the creation of the Pandan Arboretum and Eco-Park, to promote biodiversity-friendly tourism activities and develop sustainable livelihood enterprises. With climate change, however, we stand to lose these natural resources.

The CCC has been undertaking capacity building activities for LGUs in enhancing their Local Climate Change Action Plans and in accessing the People’s Survival Fund, and I have specifically requested them to conduct this training for our LGUs in Antique.

The goal is for all our LGUs in Antique to have your own enhanced LCCAP that is foremost science-based and responsive to the prevailing climate risks and vulnerabilities of your communities. And I would also like to urge all of you to start contemplating on developing a project proposal for the PSF.

May we learn through this workshop the necessary knowledge and skills, so we may go back to our communities with greater capacity to protect our wealth and build genuine resilience against climate impacts for our people and future generations.

Thank you very much.