P2-B Climate Change Fund bill will be pass into law by 2012

by Ben Serrano

November 19, 2010

            SURIGAO CITY (PNA) - Deputy House Speaker Rep. Lorenzo Taňada III assured Mindanao local officials who attended the launching of community-led initiatives for Climate Change adaptation at Philippine Gateway Hotel and Convention Center here yesterday claimed that the P2-B People’s Survival Fund (PSF) Bill will be pass into law by 2012. 

            Taňada who is guest speaker of the launching said Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile who is principal author of the PSF Bill Senate version has already assured full support of the passing of the bill by 2012.

            Enrile was supposed to attend the November 18 launching but an emergency meeting at Malacanan Palace forced the Senate President to skip the climate change activity.

            In his prepared speech read at the launching, Enrile said the passing of PSF Bill will be his legacy, “what I do now for climate change adaptations and disaster risk reduction will be my legacy because I may not see the fruits of it that will benefit of the future generations ”,Enrile in his prepared speech said. 

            Under the House and Senate PSF Bill, the government will allot P2-B a year to fund all climate change programs including disaster risk reduction initiatives. 

            The PSF seeks to establish a fund dedicated to vulnerable local governments and communities struggling to adapt the rapidly changing climate.

            During the launching non-government organizations, environmental groups LGU, and national government officials expressed full support in the launching of a community-driven campaign for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction dubbed Depensa.

            Surigao del Norte Governor Sol Folcadilla Matugas, Siargao Island Congressman Francisco Matugas, Surigao del Norte Rep. Guillermo Romarate, Jr., provincial board members and municipal mayors and other government officials from Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur and Sultan Kudarat said that as a show of support to the initiatives they are ready to pass positive resolutions declaring full support of Depensa. 

             Surigao City Mayor Engineer Ernesto Matugas and other city officials also welcomed officials of the climate change commission, Oxfam, Dakila, ICSF and other local and national government officials in the city. 

               Later in the evening, the Surigao City Mayor and other officials hosted a dinner for visitors of the city.

               Mayor Matugas and other city officials also expressed full support for the climate change initiatives. 

            The Depensa! campaign supports bills filed in in the Senate and House of Representatives seeking to establish a People’s Survival Fund (PSF).

            The PSF intends to finance adaptation programs and projects of local governments and communities. By crafting adaptation plans based on climate vulnerability, the PSF incentivizes early local adaptation action.

            Present during the launching was Deputy Speaker Lorenzo “Erin” Tanada who is principal author in the PSF bill, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSF) Executive Director Renato Redentor Constantino and Climate Change Commissioner Nadarev Saňo.

            Taňada told more than 300 officials present in the launching that the People’s Survival Fund Bill with the support of the majority of congressmen is expected to be passed as a law by 2012.

            Taňada said the fund is needed to augment various calamity funds in the LGUs which only become available if disaster happened in the locality and too small to make various projects for climate change adaptations and disaster risk reductions.

             Oxfam’s Mindanao Program dubbed DEPENSA currently supports partners in ensuring that sustainable livelihoods of small rural producers are protected and resilient from natural and human-induced disasters in selected areas in the region.

Climate change impacts in the Philippines are expected to intensify the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, which are projected to hit vulnerable communities, particularly women in rural areas, disproportionately.

            Oxfam is an international confederation of 14 organizations working together in 99 countries and with partners and allies around the world to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice.

            The impacts of climate change increasingly felt from extreme weather events that caused floods or severe drought may adversely affect or are affecting already Caraga communities that  may caused  problems in agricultural, marine and water-source production in the areas of Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, and Sultan Kudarat in Southern Mindanao, says Marie Madamba-Nunez of Oxfam. 

 Nunez also claimed coastal communities in Surigao provinces are in danger of rising sea and tidal levels.

Majority of coastal areas in the two Surigao provinces are within the Pacific rim. (PNA/Ben Serrano)