Landmark climate preparedness fund passed by Congress

PACKING A PUNCH. From left to right: TV personality Tado, Congressman Irvin Alcala, Deputy House Speaker Lorenzo "Erin" Tañada III, community leaders Lito Tumbalo and Elvie Balalad at the launch of the DEPENSA campaign in 2010. DEPENSA has since helped in successfully lobbying for the enactment of the People's Survival Fund (PSF) into law. Congressman Tañada is the principal author of the House version of the PSF.

The People’s Survival Fund (PSF), one of the world’s first local climate adaptation funds, has just been signed into law by Philippine Congress yesterday (June 6) – just under two years since Oxfam and partners began to lobby for its passage.  Learn more:  PSF Primer.

The PSF establishes a fund wholly dedicated to and directly accessible by communities to prepare for the impacts of climate change.  This fund will be overseen by the government’s Climate Change Commission, and financed by both domestic and international sources. Local adaptation is becoming a necessary course as rich countries continue to wince from their obligation to compensate the world for causing the climate crisis.

Oxfam and partners, iCSC and Dakila kick-started the campaign – dubbed DEPENSA (defense) – for PSF in 2010, with the publication of a research on adaptation finance. This was followed by a series of public events, including a launch featuring a music album-cum-advocacy kit. The passage of the PSF law is remarkable;  proposed measures are often put through the ringer in Congress, taking an average of ten years before their enactment.*

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