Saturday, April 16, 2016

Farmers groups taught how to use PSF

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

LAOAG CITY—Ilocos farmers who are frequently hit by typhoon and prolonged drought in this northern part of Luzon may now start availing the so-called People’s Survival Fund (PSF), the national government provides to qualified applicants.

After participating in a whole-day water summit workshop where all the issues, concerns and possible solutions were identified  by farmers themselves and their respective local government units, Erika Erro, a representative of the Climate Change Commission who served as a keynote speaker in behalf of Secretary Emmanuel de Guzman told farmers here the government has allocated one billion pesos sourced from the national budget to finance projects that prevent or mitigate the effects of climate change and natural disasters.

Frequently hit by flooding and drought, the farmers zanjera associations from the 21 municipalities and two cities of Ilocos Norte who actively participated in the workshop identified specific projects that could help them mitigate the impact of climate change in their livelihood.

Among the common projects identified to increase farmers’ resiliency and adaptation measures include the urgent repair and rehabilitation of irrigation systems, construction of small water impounding dams, flood-control projects, practice of organic farming including vermiculture, provision of modern farming machineries, distribution of livestock and climate-resilient crops, more establishments of fish sanctuaries, low-cost housing for those living in highly-vulnerable areas due to storm surge and flooding and the continuing tree planting activities to enhance existing watersheds and help address dwindling water supply. 

According to Ms. Erro, farmers and LGUs with proposed projects related to climate change component can be funded through the PSF.

“Just submit the work plan and follow the mechanism,” she said as she sat down with farmers during the workshop to assist them how to prepare a project proposal.

Recipients of the special fund may include local government units (LGUs) with high poverty incidence and are exposed to climate risks.

In Ilocos Norte, residents here continue to experience prolong drought, thus, decreasing farmers’ productivity.

In 2012, President Benigno Aquino III signed the PSF but it took a while before it was implemented to finalize the mechanisms under it.

World Bank record shows the Philippines faces economic losses from climate change amounting to 2.5 percent of our gross domestic product (GDP) per year. In 2010, this equaled to about US$45 billion. Such losses are expected to increase to up to US$418 billion in 2030.

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