THE Department of Finance (DOF) urged local government units (LGUs) to tap available state financing for their climate-related projects and programs that contribute to government’s goal of establishing “livable” and “sustainable” communities.
The DOF also offers assistance so LGUs can access available climate financing.
“The DOF stands ready to assist LGUs in the realization of their climate projects, thus advancing the Philippines’ climate agenda as envisioned in the President’s 8-point socioeconomic agenda of establishing livable and sustainable communities,” Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said last Thursday.
Diokno pointed LGUs to the “People’s Survival Fund” (PSF) for their climate-related projects. He added the DOF has streamlined the approval process so that more LGUs can avail themselves of the grant.
The PSF was established under Republic Act (RA) 10174 in 2012 to finance adaptation programs and projects of LGUs and accredited local and community organizations, according to the DOF.
“In the past, two primary issues hindered the swift processing of project approval by the PSF Board: the lack of capacity to prepare bankable projects and the tedious procedures,” the DOF said.
“Upon taking up the role of PSF Secretariat in 2017, the DOF initiated measures to expedite fund utilization and streamline the project proposal process,” added the finance department.
Furthermore, the DOF said it has delegated to the Climate Change Commission (CCC) the capacity-building mandate with the CCC now collaborating directly with LGUs through one-on-one consultations.
The collaboration allows the LGUs to be guided on the drafting process and compliance of the necessary paperwork for PSF grants.
“With the implementation of the Mandanas-Garcia ruling, the DOF, through the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF), is also prepared to capacitate LGUs in efficiently utilizing the increased revenue stream to fund climate-related projects and programs,” the DOF said.
The DOF, sitting as the chair of the PSF, said it has approved 11 climate adaptation projects and 6 projects for project development grant with a combined amount of P889.6 million. The amount hiked the PSF’s utilization rate to 89 percent of the total P1 billion budget, according to the DOF.