Possible source fight against climate change

Governor Ben Evardone

TACLOBAN CITY– Eastern Samar Governor Ben Evardone has personally asked President Marcos to help local government units to gain access to funds under the People’s Survival Fund to help them address concerns on climate change.

Evardone made his appeal during a gathering attended by governors and mayors from Eastern Visayas during the ‘Handa Pilipinas’ Visayas Leg held at the Summit Hotel, this city on Wednesday (Nov. 8), coinciding the 10th anniversary of the onslaught of Super Typhoon ‘Yolanda’ in the region.

“I appealed to President Marcos in the presence of Speaker Martin Romualdez and Special Assistant to the President Anton Lagdameo to help LGUs access the multibillion-peso People’s Survival Fund for disaster preparedness, mitigation, and rehabilitation,” the governor said in an interview.

According to the governor, the People’s Survival Fund as contained under Republic Act 10174 was institutionalized in 2012 which includes a long-term finance stream to enable the government, including the local government units, to effectively address the problem of climate change.

It also mandates for local government units have access to funds to augment their resources for implementing climate change-related projects or programs.
The governor also appealed to the President to ‘relax’ the stringent requirements so the LGU could gain access to the Fund.

“I explained to the President that there is a need to relax the requirements so LGUs can readily access to the fund and the President vowed to look into it why the LGUs can’t access to that fund,” Evardone said.

“(And) since it speaks of people’s survival, access to that fund to help communities in disaster-prone areas should be easy,” the Eastern Samar governor said.

For the local government units to gain access to the fund, estimated to be at P1 billion per year, the requesting LGU must submit a letter of intent, accomplished project proposal template, climate risk and vulnerability assessments, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction-enhanced comprehensive land use or development plans and local climate change action plan, among others.

Evardone said that they have complied with the requirements and submitted them to the Climate Change Commission early this year but did not receive any response.
“Our province was able to comply with all the requirements last April but unfortunately no word from the Climate Change Commission,” he said.

Meantime, in his speech, the President said that the Handa Pilipinas Visayas Leg was launched to showcase the different disaster risk reduction and management initiatives of the government.

“The government remains committed to advancing our country’s disaster resilience, and of course, we must recognize the role of the Department of Science and Technology in this undertaking,” he said.

According to the President, the DOST has been instrumental in developing cutting-edge technologies for disaster risk prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.
“I am confident that the technologies featured in this event such as the mobile command post, the triaging trailer tent, the collapsible toilet bowl, upgraded emergency disinfection system, fire blanket, unsinkable porta boat and water ambulance, amongst others—will be of great help during relief and rescue operations,” he said.

“Kaya’t kailangan ipagpatuloy natin ang pag-develop. Hindi na ‘yung teknolohiya kung hindi ang pagpababa ng presyo ng ating mga produkto at pagparami para maging available sa lahat ng ating mga LGU para naman magamit pantulong sa tao kapag may pangangailangan,” the President added.