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Growing support for climate change fund bill hailed
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines – More lawmakers have signed on as co-authors of a climate change survival fund bill, earning them a “climate salute” from a policy think tank  that said the House of Representatives “is heeding the clamor of governors, mayors and local government leaders” for the passage of the measure.

Among those who have signed for the bill are world boxing champion and Saranggani Representative Manny Pacquiao.

“This is the kind of response communities need given the increasing magnitude of economic and social costs due to climate change-linked disasters," Red Constantino, executive director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (iCSC), said.

The People's Survival Fund Bill, which seeks to establish a climate adaptation fund for local governments, was filed in the House by Deputy Speaker Lorenzo Tanada, and in the Senate by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.

Among the programs the bill intends to fund are the deployment of local agricultural meteorological capability and technology, livelihood and shelter support for communities threatened by rising seas, small water impounding projects and crop shifting support for areas facing anticipated extreme drought conditions, and anti-flooding measures.

Funds will be sourced from proceeds of government-owned corporations and the Motor Vehicles Users Charge (MVUC) and will be managed by the Climate Change Commission together with agencies such as the Departments of Finance and Budget and Management, with representatives from the business and NGO sectors sitting as observers.

The Climate Change Act of 2009 established the Climate Change Commission with the mandate to mainstream climate change into government policy formulation but did not identify sources or mechanisms of financing for climate adaptation activities that may be required over and above existing government programs.

Chief executives from provinces such as Surigao del Norte, Negros Occidental and Benguet have signed manifestos calling for "the early creation of the People's Survival Fund.”

 “If the People's Survival Fund bill is passed, local governments and communities need not tap anymore meager funds allocated to support social services such as health or education. The climate fund will give local governments and communities the means to cope with the rapidly changing climate," said Constantino.