January 31, 2011, Manila Bulletin
MANILA, Philippines (PNA) – Senator Loren Legarda commended on Monday the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) for its support to the proposed legislation that seeks to create a People’s Survival Fund.
In a letter to Legarda, DOTC Secretary Jose De Jesus concurred “to the proposed sourcing from the Special Vehicle Pollution Control Fund of 10 percent for the People’s Survival Fund.”
“I am glad that this proposal is starting to gain the support of both the non-government sector and government agencies,” Legarda, chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, said.
Legarda stressed the importance of the People’s Survival Fund to finance the country’s climate adaptation mechanisms, such as early warning systems, capacity-building and disaster preparedness strategies.
“We must not consider these things as expenditures but as investments to avoid possible disaster losses in the future,” Legarda said.
Under Senate Bill No. 2558, filed by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, a People’s Survival Fund shall be established as a special trust fund for the financing of climate adaptation programs and projects.
Under the bill, the People’s Survival Fund shall be sourced from: (1) the General Appropriations Act (GAA); (2) 10 percent from cash dividends declared by all government-owned and controlled corporations; (3) five percent of certified emission reduction earned under the clean development mechanism; and (4) 10 percent of the 7.5 percent share of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) in the special vehicle control fund under Republic Act 8794.
“Money from the government coffers, if at all available, is diverted to relief, reconstruction and rehabilitation. If the government coffers turn out empty, we resort to foreign loans that must be repaid with interest,” Legarda explained.
“Leaders of the country, particularly our economic and finance managers must put themselves to the task of changing mindsets and softening the grip on well-guarded budgets and I am certain that we will be able to find more funds to build our country’s resiliency to the ill effects of a changing climate. With DOTC’s move, I am hopeful that various government departments and agencies follow suit and share their resources for adaptation,” she concluded.
Photo: Punong Barangay Evelyn Ramos of Brgy.Puguis, La Trinidad, Benguet signs the manifesto for Depensa!, showing her support for the People’s Survival Fund (AK dela Cruz/iCSC)