The Philippine government has made “considerable progress” in providing funds for climate resilience during the last four years, signifying its serious commitment to build safe and sustainable communities in the face of climate change.

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu pointed this out in his keynote address at the forum entitled “Accelerating Climate Resilience Investments in the Philippines through the Risk Resiliency Program (RRP),” which was organized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the World Bank in Quezon City.

“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,” the DENR chief disclosed.

Cimatu noted that the budgetary allocation for climate change had increased to P132 billion in 2019 from P76 billion in 2015.

But despite the increase, Cimatu said the amount was still “not enough” to generate more and better targeted investments for climate resilience.

He said it is a good thing there is RRP, a convergence program for planning, budgeting and evaluating climate investments between national agencies and local government units.

“Accordingly, we are taking strong steps to develop resilience through [RRP] for investing public resources in resilience,” said Cimatu, who chairs the Cabinet Cluster for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation and Disaster Risk Reduction.

Cimatu said the RRP would help the Cabinet Cluster 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,” Cimatu said.

The RRP was created to support the Cabinet Cluster’s roadmap to address climate and disaster risks.

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. #