P1-B PSF fund available for LGUs, people’s orgs

>> Saturday, February 18, 2017

For climate change projects 
By Karen Copa and Aleja Joy Sison

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Local government units and peoples organizations can now request and access funds from the People’s Survival Fund (PSF) to address issues and problems related to climate change in their localities with more than P1 billion still in its coffers.
              Here in this capital town, local government officials from Benguet and Mountain Province banded together last week to discuss projects, accessing funds and efforts to protect their harvests, adapt to climate change and minimize danger.
The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), in partnership with Benguet State University and Canadian Embassy, held an orientation and workshop here Thursday on how to access the PSF in Agricultural Training Institute at BSU.
The fund, established in 2012 under Republic Act 10174, grants funds for climate change adaptation initiatives proposed by local governments and  communities.    
Canadian Ambassador John T. Holmes, Canadian said during orientation they supported the workshop as it would help in managing challenges brought about by climate change in programs proposed by localities. 
“Overarching our concern about climate change is a global one,” Homes said. “It hits both countries and regions and locality. It is inspiring to come to this region and learn what the university is doing and learn what the local communities are doing. We adapt to crops, we adapt to the changing climate, as what our Canada Fund is doing and as we have done it in many areas, we help. So we are here to give you the money to bring the project that you need. But we can work in an institute for example to build up a capacity so you can access your own country fund, the People’s Survival Fund. “
Ambassador Holmes visited BSU farms including Strawberry Fields here where he was briefed on farming techniques and tools used by BSU.
His briefers included BSU officials Alexander B. Fagyan, director of Climate Smart Agricultural Center; president Dr. Feliciano Calora Jr. and Dr. Carlito Laurien, vice president for research.
Meanwhile, Kairos Dela Cruz, ICSC Associate for Climate Policy said “Cordillera region has long been identified as highly vulnerable to climate impacts. Through this workshop, we hope to empower local governments not just to seek a grant from the People’s Survival Fund, but also to craft more informed plans to better protect their people’s lives and livelihoods.”
                 ICSC is the civil society representative to the PSF Board, which assesses and approves proposals for funding.
The Board already approved last November its first two projects - one in Del Carmen, Siargao, Surigao del Norte and the other in Lanuza, Surigao del Sur - totaling almost P120 million.
About P1.8 billion remains in the People’s Survival Fund, but it can also be replenished by national and international sources.
The Embassy of Canada, which in 2015 committed $2.65 billion in climate finance until 2020 for developing countries, also co-sponsored the workshop.
“Canada is working with countries around the world to demonstrate leadership and take global action on climate change,” said Ambassador Holmes. “The Government of Canada is pleased to support this capacity building workshop on climate-inclusive planning to help enable local government units plan, mobilize, and access climate finance from existing sources such as the People’s Survival Fund.”
“Our longstanding research on climate change impacts here in the Cordillera region shows that agricultural production will be even further besieged by more intense typhoons and heavier rainfall. Benguet State University is proud to host this People’s Survival Fund workshop and to provide scientific advice for our farmers and local government planners alike,” said Calora.
                    The PSF is the country’s first legislated adaptation fund. It is meant for initiatives with adaptation as its primary objective.  The PSF was added as a climate finance feature of the Climate Change Act of 2009 that was passed as a law last August 16, 2012.
Dela Cruz said they have started partnering with BSU years back and that the academe and local government units should work together more in close proximity to put up or build a successful project. 
He said purpose of the workshop they organized was for people from different towns of Benguet and Mt. Province to learn about the PSF and how to write a proposal for funding.
Local government units and “communities” defined as local organizations as qualified by non-government organization representative to the PSF Board through a policy recommendation can access the PSF. 

For more information, interested parties may contact info@icsc.ngo or www.icsc.ngo.


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