PASAY CITY, 19 November 2019 — Representatives from the Climate Change Commission (CCC), the finance sector, civil society, and local government units discussed here today how to make climate finance more accessible in the country as part of the week-long celebration of National Climate Change Consciousness Week.

“Now more than ever, we need to ensure the mobilization of finance flows towards the adaptation needs of our most vulnerable communities,” said Secretary Emmanuel de Guzman as he opened the event organized by CCC in partnership with the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC). “We need to do this faster, we need it to be in greater scale, and we need to be more responsive.”

Speakers from CCC, Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), and Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) shared the current state of climate finance and existing finance mechanisms available in the country, including the People’s Survival Fund (PSF) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

Officials from Del Carmen, Siargao Islands, Surigao del Norte; Lanuza, Surigao del Sur; Guiuan, Eastern Samar; and Coron, Palawan narrated the process they went through in applying for PSF and GCF, as well as suggested measures on how other LGUs can access climate finance.

“Instead of having climate adaptation as a separate project, integrate it with your whole governance platform,” explained Vice Mayor Alfredo Coro II of Del Carmen, Siargao, one of the first ever recipients of PSF in the country. “It’s just a matter of trying to understand what your climate adaptation strategy is as a whole,” he added.

The importance of technical support from the government, civil society organizations, and the academe in applying for climate funds also emerged in the conversation. Local government representatives in the gathering emphasized the need for action both in the national and local level to make climate finance more accessible in the country.

“We need to have the processes streamlined and simpler so that other LGUs could also access climate funds,” said Recti Melquiades, Sangguniang Bayan secretary of the LGU of Guiuan, Eastern Samar.

Vice Mayor Coro added that LGUs must reflect on why climate finance is important for their communities. “Simplifying the process is one thing, but understanding the reason why you want to do it in the first place gives you the motivation, even if the process is hard, because your goal is very clear to you,” he explained.

National officials vowed to make climate finance more accessible for Filipino communities.

“We know that we must never lose sight of the goal of securing climate finance for our communities. This is climate justice in action,” said Climate Change Commissioner Rachel Herrera.