Climate change budget rises; investments needed

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    The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said government has made “considerable progress” in providing funds for climate resilience in the last four years.

    “Since we started tagging the climate change budget in 2015, there has been an increasing trend in the budget that supports climate adaptation and mitigation,” said DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu.

    In a statement, Cimatu said the budgetary allocation for climate change had increased to P132 billion in 2019 from P76 billion in 2015. He, however, said this is “not enough” to generate more and better targeted investments for climate resilience.

    He said a Risk Resiliency Program (RRP) which is being led by the agency for planning, budgeting and evaluating climate investments between national agencies and local government units will help in pushing for such effort.

    Under the program, investments for climate change will be focused in more than 20 climate vulnerable provinces, some 800 coastal municipalities, and four major urban centers, namely Metro Manila, Cebu, Iloilo and Davao by 2022.

    Cimatu said the RRP would also help the Cabinet Cluster for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation and Disaster Risk Reduction to close the gap between budget and climate resilience requirement, address inadequacy in some areas and fill significant gaps in targeting places for resilience investment while the criteria needed for privatizing investments remain unclear.

    “We see the reforms to the (RRP) as strategic opportunity for having more public investments for climate resilience and better targeting of investments to the geographic areas where they are most needed,” he said.

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