Press Release
November 7, 2012

Legarda: Inclusion of People's Survival Fund in 2013 Nat'l Budget,
Key in Improving Nation's Resilience to Disasters

Senator Loren Legarda today stressed that it is important and urgent to include the one billion-peso People's Survival Fund (PSF) in the 2013 National Budget as it will help ensure significant improvements in the disaster resilience of communities in the country.

"We must immediately implement the People's Survival Fund Act as it will help local governments' adaptation activities, such as in the areas of land and water resources management, agriculture and fisheries, health, infrastructure development, and natural ecosystems," said Legarda, sponsor of the PSF Act (Republic Act 10174).

"The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) should take the lead, because as specified in R.A. 10174, undertaking the formulation of the annual national budget in a way that ensures the appropriate prioritization and allocation of funds to support climate change-related programs and projects in the annual program of government is their responsibility," she added.

The Senator explained that the PSF will also support the improvement of monitoring, controlling and prevention of diseases triggered by climate change, establishment of forecasting and early warning systems, and strengthening institutional development, for local governments, for preventive measures, planning, preparedness and management of impacts relating to climate change.

In a related matter, Legarda, the Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, has co-sponsored the 2013 Alternative Budget Senate Presentation Forum by the Social Watch Philippines.

In the alternative budget proposal, the Senator highlighted the proposed climate-sensitive and disaster risk reduction-proofed budget priorities amounting to Php 31 billion.

The proposed budget items shall be allocated for disaster risk reduction and management; biodiversity conservation, sustainable agriculture, fisheries and forestry; renewable and sustainable energy systems; and, ecological waste management.

"We must have a climate-sensitive national budget because as we experience extreme weather events, such as heavy rains and prolonged droughts, it becomes even more crucial to prioritize actions that would enhance communities' resilience to disasters and climate change impacts. We have to build up our defenses against disasters to free us from the costly and exhausting cycle of rebuilding our communities every time nature unleashes its wrath," Legarda concluded.

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