Reps. Rodriguez and Emano push for People's Survival Fund law

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/13 February) —  Representatives Rufus Rodriguez and Yevgeny Emano of Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental, respectively, have joined the clamor for the early passage of House Bill 3528 or People’s Survival Fund (PSF) bill.

The PSF is an important climate change mitigation measure and would strengthen the Climate Change Act of 2009 (RA 9729) and the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Act of 2010 (RA 10121)

Rodriguez said that the PSF would be necessary as it would help local government units., especially the small towns, respond to climate change impacts.

“We have to speed up the process of approving it as climate change impacts are already causing damage to the country,” Rodriguez told MindaNews.

Emano said that while he is supporting the PSF, he is still studying the mode of its implementation so that it will be corruption-free.

Among the principal authors of the PSF are Quezon Representative Erin Tanada and boxing pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquaio of Sarangani province.

Public hearing on the PSF is set on February 16 at the House of Representatives.

If passed into law, the PSF would raise at least P100 billion to finance climate change mitigation projects.

Mitigation refers to activities and projects undertaken to reduce risks and impacts of climate change.

Under the DRRM Act, (RA 10121) the 20 percent calamity fund  of LGUs has been renamed Disaster Risk Reduction Management Fund. Thirty percent of this fund is for disaster quick response while the 70 percent can be spent in advance for disaster mitigation projects.

The Disaster Fund however is very small especially in small municipalities resulting in the spending of essential budget for health, education and other social services when disaster

In Mindanao, at least 50 persons have died from drowning or due to landslides caused by the tail-end of a cold front in January and low pressure area in February. Thousands of families were displaced by the floods that also destroyed houses and crops and infrastructure.  (BenCyrus G. Ellorin/MindaNews)