A CONGRESSWOMAN yesterday strongly urged concerned government authorities to relax the requirement for local government units (LGUs) and qualified institutions to gain access to the P2-billion People’s Survival Fund.
Occidental Mindoro Rep. Josephine “Nene” Ramirez Y. Sato expressed concern that the special fund at the National Treasury remains inaccessible to LGUs because of the requirements by the fund managers.
“Aanhin pa ang damo, kung patay na ang kabayo?” Sato, a former governor of Occidental Mindoro asked, lamenting that the fund was supposed to help save people’s lives by providing necessary fund for adaptation to climate change.
Climate Change Commission (CCC) Sec. Emmanuel de Guzman said that of the country’s 1,715 LGUs, only a handful expressed interest in accessing the fund.
To access the fund, she noted that the LGUs are required to prepare and submit at least 20 documents.
The requirements, she noted, discourage LGUs to apply for funding life-saving programs and projects.
Nevertheless, the lawmaker said local governments should create a technical working group which can work with the PSF secretariat and focus on accessing fund for programs and projects that would help reduce the risk of disasters.
Approved on August 16, 2012, Republic Act (RA) No. 10174 amended RA No. 9729 or the Climate Change Act of 2009, establishing the People’s Survival Fund to provide long-term finance to enable the government “to effectively address the problem of climate change.”
The PSF, headed by the secretaries of Department of Finance (DOF) and CCC, provides an annual funding of 1-billion. It was only in 2015 that funding became available.
A former Governor of Occidental Mindoro, Sato insists that the PSF Board, established to regulate the use of the special fund should review and if possible, reduce the number of documentary requirements, simplify the process, and make the fund more accessible to LGUs.