MANILA, Aug. 4 (Philippine News Agency) — Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile renewed on Wednesday his call for the immediate passage of his bill proposing the establishment of the People’s Survival Fund (PSF) to help finance the adaptation to climate change of local governments and communities.
“Adaptation finance should always be seen as an investment, and not a cost,” Enrile said.
The PSF intends to provide incentives for early adaptation action by dedicating finances for local resilience-building needs.
The Senate President explained that among the possible interventions is to build resilience among farming communities facing prolonged drought or flooding, and another is to launch ecosystem-based risk management projects.
“We need to scale up innovative local initiatives and the first step is for national government to establish a fund dedicated to local governments and communities,” Enrile said.
“The costs we face with climate change are several magnitudes less than the cost of inaction,” he said.
Enrile pointed out that “now is the time to create more momentum in the reforms in risk governance and policy-making.”
“It is time to arrest the governance chaos prevailing currently over the administration of climate finance, so that monies can flow to national priorities and to those who need funding support the most,” he said.
The Senate President observed that vulnerable Filipino communities, particularly women from farming communities, “stand in the frontline of the greatest crisis our world has ever faced.”
“As climate change inflicts even greater harm on the world, we need to see not merely images of calamities nor havoc done in abstract. We need to face the very people threatened by rapidly warming temperatures due to our inaction,” Enrile said.
Senate President Enrile and Senator Legarda during the opening of the
“We need to find a place for their suffering in the work we do as legislators in order for us to understand the risks they will face if we fail to act to help them protect their own,” he added.
Enrile delivered his remarks at the opening of a photo exhibit by photojournalist Jose Enrique Soriano entitled “Visage: Portraits of Filipinos Facing Climate Change.”The photo exhibit is a joint undertaking of the offices of the Senate President, Senator Loren Legarda, the Senate Committee on Climate Change and the Institute of Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC). (PNA)
Photos by iCSC/JC Valencia