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Legarda Pushes for Funding of Climate Change Law

December 16, 2010

SENATOR LOREN LEGARDA TODAY STRESSED THE NECESSITY OF PUTTING UP A FUND SOLELY FOR THE COUNTRY’S CLIMATE ADAPTATION PROGRAMS AS SHE SOUGHT THE HELP OF GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, PARTICULARLY THE DEPARTMENTS OF FINANCE (DOF) AND BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT (DBM) TO FIND NEW SOURCES OF FUNDS.
Legarda said that a fund would be necessary to support the climate change action plans of local government units and to provide financial assistance for priority adaptation projects identified by the Climate Change Commission (CCC).
During the Senate hearing of the Committee on Climate Change, which Legarda chairs, on Senate Bill 2558 (People’s Survival Fund bill) authored by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, the DOF raised concerns that sharing with current government fund sources could pose a problem in the implementation of other programs already being funded by such sources.
Under the bill, the people’s survival fund shall be sourced from: (1) the General Appropriations Act (GAA); (2) 10% from cash dividends declared by all government-owned and controlled corporations; (3) five percent of certified emission reduction earned under the clean development mechanism; and (4) 10% of the 7.5% share of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) in the special vehicle control fund under Republic Act 8794.
“It has been over a year since the Climate Change Act (RA 9729) was enacted, and we recognize that this measure can be further enhanced in terms of the structure of the Commission and our climate finance policy. I am glad that Senate President Enrile filed Senate Bill 2558,” Legarda said.
“This proposed measure establishes a framework and mechanism for the proper utilization and management of climate funds. It creates a People’s Survival Fund that would finance climate adaptation programs and projects based on the national strategic framework. This law would be toothless without the adequate funding, and so I ask the DOF and the DBM to help us find new sources of funds for this measure,” she added.
Legarda explained that the amount of P50-million from the GAA, along with funds from other sources stated in the bill that would constitute the People’s Survival Fund, would not be enough to finance climate change adaptation measures. She noted the World Bank assessment of post-Ondoy damages alone already costs P227-billion.
The Senator also asked those who were present during the hearing to come up with a comprehensive discussion of their position on the details of the bill, specifically on the issues regarding the source of fund, who can access the fund, how much would be the initial funding, the structure of the People’s Survival Fund Board, and the necessary safeguards needed to ensure the proper use of funds and efficient implementation of the law.
Those who attended the hearing are: Commissioner Naderev Sano of the CCC, Mr. Johan Adrian Narag of DOF, Director Bingle Gutierrez of DBM, Mr. Rafael Lavides of DOTC, Assistant Director Ma. Luisa Julongbayan of the National Economic and Development Authority, Dr. Tony La Viña of the Ateneo School of Government, and Mr. Milo Tanchuling of Aksyon Klima Pilipinas.