Budget Secretary Florencio Abad bared that funds for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in the proposed 2016 National Budget have reached P132 billion.
“With the help of the World Bank, our ongoing audit of the P3.002-trillion budget for next year has tagged P132-billion worth of projects that represent climate expenditures,” the budget chief said in response to calls by Finance Ministers of the ‘Vulnerable Twenty’ (V20) for a significant mobilization of funds for a global response to climate change.
The V20 group is led by the Philippines and represents a significant number of nations most vulnerable to climate change. It held its inaugural meeting during the World Bank/International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings in Lima, Peru last week to push for greater investments in climate resiliency ahead of the COP21 talks in Paris.
“The amount of P132 billion for climate expenditures is a huge investment, but we have been working on increasing the budget to address climate change since 2011. More importantly, the 2016 budget builds on the lessons of typhoon Yolanda as well as focusing on climate change adaptation. This prioritization reflects the National Government’s major support for enhancing disaster preparedness and resilience in vulnerable communities,” said Abad.
The tagging of climate expenditures in the 2016 budget was made possible through an ongoing climate change expenditures tagging initiative supported by the World Bank. By tracking expenditures associated with climate change, the National Government will have an easier time identifying them, ensuring their transparency, and enhancing their effectiveness.
Majority of the climate expenditure in the proposed 2016 budget was lodged under the budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), around 72.2 percent to account for the increase in funding of flood control protection. The construction of flood control facilities covering 18 major river basins and principal rivers and watersheds by the DPWH amounts to P59.8 billion
Other projects that were tagged as climate expenditures were the reforestation of 1.5 million hectares under the six-year National Greening Program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) amounting to P10.2 billion and farm-to-market roads amounting to P12.9 billion under the Department of Agriculture. (PNA)