After almost two years of being lodged in the Lower and Upper Houses of legislation, the Peoples Survival Fund (PSF) was passed and ratified last June 6, 2012 and now awaits President Aquinos signature for enactment.
Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile championed PSF in the House of Representatives and Philippine Senate, respectively. Their untiring political will and strong leadership made PSF one of the very few bills that enjoyed the support of the majority of legislators; further expediting its passage and ratification.
PSF amended the Climate Change Act of 2009 to include a 1 billion annual starting budget to finance adaptation and
mitigation projects to be proposed by localities proven to be vulnerable to the onset of climate change. If President signs the bill into law, PSF can be possibly available in the next budget year.
After being closely scrutinized and amended during the bicameral conference, PSF set the bar in government-initiated financing several bars higher. PSF highlighted the need to have corruption failsafe provisions that do not compromise the applying liberty of it potential beneficiaries. When
implemented, the PSF Board composed of national finance departments, economic agencies, business sector and non-government representatives will lead the distribution and monitoring of the Fund.
PSF also included a provision for increasing the Funds starting balance through donations and grants from individuals and international fund pools.
With the State of the Nation Address fast approaching, President Aquino is expected to assure Filipinos that climate change issues such as PSF is a part of his administrations centerpiece agenda.
One signature now stands between the realization of the Philippines first climate change funding stream fully dedicated to the most vulnerable localities and individuals. The Presidents signature will mark a new frontier and success in the Philippines climate finance and climate change resiliency.