THE PEOPLE’S Survival Fund (PSF) Board, which is led by Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno, approved new climate adaptation projects worth P539 million.

In a statement from the Department of Finance (DoF) on Tuesday, the PSF Board said it approved projects that will be implemented in the climate vulnerable areas of Mountain Province, City of Borongan, and Municipalities of Maramag, Cabagan, and Catanauan.

These projects include installation of drainage and early warning systems and the development of the agroforestry industry in Maramag, Bukidnon, which is worth P126.40 million. 

It also includes an irrigation project in Cabagan, Isabela. This involves the construction of three solar powered irrigation systems worth P21.28 million.

The PSF will also fund P2.63 million for a mangrove rehabilitation project in Catanauan, Quezon and P118 million for installing embankment infrastructure and reforestation for enhanced flood control of Lo-om River in Borongan City, Eastern Samar. 

The projects also include a climate field school for farmers in Mountain Province, which is worth P271.15 million.

“I commend the Board and its members for its efforts to expedite the approval of the new projects, allowing us to fully utilize the disbursement of one billion pesos allocated to the PSF,” Mr. Diokno said.

“For our part, the DoF shall continue to address the delays in the current system by improving processing time and providing sufficient resources to assist our proponents,” he added.

Established under Republic Act 10174 in 2012, the PSF is an annual fund that finances climate change adaptation programs and projects in the country.

It is intended for local government units (LGUs) and accredited local/community organizations to implement climate change adaptation projects that will better equip vulnerable communities to deal with the impacts of climate change.

The PSF Board considers several factors when approving projects.

These include the level of climate change risk and vulnerability, community participation, poverty reduction potential, cost-effectiveness, identification of likely co-benefits, responsiveness to gender-specific vulnerabilities, and availability of climate change adaptation action plan.

The PSF has an initial capitalization of P1 billion to aid LGUs and local community organizations in implementing climate change adaptation projects.

According to the DoF, the Board has funded P887.63 million of the P1 billion that has been allocated to 11 projects and six Project Development Grants, leaving only a balance of P110.36 million in the PSF. — Keisha B. Ta-asan