A flooded street in a southern Philippine province. Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has signed into law a bill that would see the creation of a trust fund meant for local climate change adaptation measures. Photo by: IRRI / CC BY-NC-SA

After unveiling a master plan that will help mitigate flooding in the Philippine capital, President Benigno Aquino III has signed into law a bill that would see the creation of a trust fund meant for local climate change adaptation measures.

The People’s Survival Fund will receive an annual government allocation of 1 billion Philippine pesos ($23.6 million). But funding may also come from donations, endowments, grants and contributions, Philippine Climate Change Commission Vice Chairman Mary Ann Lucille Sering said in a statement.

Sen. Loren Legarda, who is also the United Nations’ Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction for Asia-Pacific, hailed the signing of the bill. The President’s approval is a “triumph for Filipinos” and “affirms” the country’s commitment toward building disaster-resilient communities, she said in a press release.

The bill is seen to strengthen the country’s Climate Change Act of 2009, which Legarda co-authored with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile. Its approval follows the deluge in Manila this August brought on by monsoon rains, which paralyzed much of the Philippine capital.

The fund will help finance local projects in accordance with the country’s National Framework Strategy on Climate Change. It will be used for the following, according to the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities:

  • Management of water sources, land, agriculture, fisheries, health, infrastructure and “fragile ecosystems.”

  • Improvement of the monitoring, control and prevention of climate change-related diseases.

  • Better forecasting and the creation of early-warning systems.

  • Capacity building of both the national and local governments in preparing and managing the impact of climate change.

  • Risk insurance guarantee for farmers and other agricultural actors in the event of a disaster.

The fund will be managed by a board composed of representatives from various government agencies, financial institutions, business sector and nongovernmental organization. The board will approve project proposals submitted by local government units and community-based institutions.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.