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Senate To Probe Utilization Of Funds For Climate Change

July 21, 2010

SENATOR LOREN LEGARDA TODAY SAID SHE WILL INITIATE A PROBE IN THE SENATE ON THE BUDGETARY ALLOCATIONS AND FUNDING MECHANISMS OF CLIMATE CHANGE PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS OF THE GOVERNMENT TO ENSURE THAT THE FUNDS ARE JUDICIOUSLY UTILIZED.
“Climate change financing must be shielded from corruption risks. Poor governance must not weaken the government’s efforts to fight climate change.”
Legarda cited the revelation of Dominique Lebastard, Economic Counselor of the French Embassy who announced the obtainment by our government of a PhP 10.5-billion loan from the Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) last May to be used for government initiatives on climate change mitigation and adaptation but rather was channeled mostly to plug the country’s growing budget deficit.
Legarda said there are numerous sources of funds that are available to the Philippines in order to finance its climate change programs and projects, “There are external grants and loans, government grants and loans and budgetary appropriations and disbursements.”
Legarda said external grants may come from the following:
1) Multilateral agencies such as the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, the United Nations and the European Community;
2) Bilateral or country donor sources;
3) The Global Environment Facility; and
4) Foreign NGOs and foreign and local private foundations
“Good governance and prudent use of public funds leads to the satisfactory conditions of our infrastructures –– roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, public buildings, water systems, dams, dikes, ports and airports; and improved performance of our national and local agencies charged with implementing rules and regulations regarding waste disposal, zoning, the construction of buildings and the development and locations of residential subdivisions, commercial areas, parks and the cleaning of rivers, canals, esteros, lakes and coastal areas.”
Legarda concluded, “Transparency and accountability mechanisms to ensure that budget lines, financing facilities and international aid, which are prone to abuse and misuse should be in place for the country to be more climate-resilient.”