People's Survival Fund

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DOF ready to support LGUs’ climate finance mobilization

The Department of Finance (DOF) is prepared to provide local government units (LGUs) with quicker access to climate financing through proper resource mobilization and private sector participation.

“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 commented.

With the theme “Bayanihan Para sa Klima: Bagong Bansang Matatag,” the Climate Change Commission (CCC) is hosting the 16th Global Warming and Climate Change Consciousness Week (CCC Week) from November 19 to 25, 2023.

As part of the CCC Week, Finance Undersecretary Maria Luwalhati C. Dorotan Tiuseco attended the Stakeholders Forum for Accelerated Climate Action and Transformation for Local Communities (ACT LOCAL) on behalf of Secretary Diokno on November 21, 2023 at the Crown Plaza Hotel.

During the panel discussion on Unlocking Climate Funds to LGUs, Undersecretary Tiuseco underscored that the protection and resiliency of individuals and communities lie at the core of the government’s development agenda.

In fulfillment of its mandate, the DOF has been directing more strategic resources for better adaptive capacity at the local level, investing in resilient communities and local governments, and mobilizing resources for social protection.

For instance, as Chair of the People’s Survival Fund (PSF) Board, the DOF has made history by swiftly approving 11 climate adaptation projects and 6 projects for Project Development Grant (PDG) with a combined amount of PHP 889.6 million. This increased the PSF’s utilization rate to 89 percent, leaving only 11 percent of the initial allocation of PHP 1 billion.

The PSF was established under Republic Act No. 10174 in 2012 to finance adaptation programs and projects of LGUs and accredited local and community organizations.

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.

Upon taking up the role of PSF Secretariat in 2017, the DOF initiated measures to expedite fund utilization and streamline the project proposal process.

Moreover, the capacity-building function was delegated to the CCC, which now collaborates individually with LGUs to conduct one-on-one consultations to guide proponents through the drafting process and 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.

Furthermore, the DOF has actively formulated fiscal policies such as the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act, the Strategic Investment Priority Plan (SIPP), and the Sustainable Finance Roadmap to foster a more enabling environment for private sector participation in green investments.

Through the Build Better More program, the government is heavily investing in 197 strategic, sustainable, and climate-resilient infrastructure projects with a more diversified funding strategy developed by the DOF using domestic resources, official development assistance, and public-private partnerships.

The DOF is gearing up to attend the 2023 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP 28) scheduled on November 30 to December 12, 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

At COP28, the DOF will champion transparent, accessible, predictable, and efficient mobilization of climate finance, which includes a blended approach of grants, investments, and subsidies over and above official development assistance.