Pasig City – Rationalizing the local planning processes and strengthening vertical and horizontal coordination between local government units (LGUs) and national government agencies (NGAs) will add value to the ongoing effort of the Philippine government to implement climate change expenditure tagging (CCET) for climate-responsive programs and projects. This was one of the major discussion points among the 25 technical staff of the Climate Change Commission (CCC) who underwent a two-day course on “Rationalizing the Local Planning System: RPS 101” last 20-21 December 2016 at Dolce Latte in Quezon City.
CCET is contained in Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2015-01 issued by the CCC and the Department of Budget and Management to guide government in using the existing budget process to plan, prioritize and monitor climate change expenditures using a common policy-based typology and guidelines. Performance indicators specific to climate change expenditures were developed consistent with the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP).
Participants pointed out their challenge in advocating to LGUs to undertake expenditure tagging to ensure that their climate change initiatives are properly supported and for (them) to be able to access timely information when planning projects that address climate change issues; make investment decisions that benefit the environment; and ensure that budget allocated for the climate change projects are used for their intended purpose.
In said event, the CCC recognized the importance of having tools and guidelines such as IEC materials and trainings on CCET to assist LGUs in its implementation. Said IEC activities can be made more effective if coursed through environment, finance and planning agencies which coordinate directly with local governments and assist them in their investment programing and budgeting.
The CCC explained that “Climate change expenditure tagging enables the integration of climate change issues into the local planning process-both at the national and sub-national levels. An example would be the case of local governments which use the results of their climate and disaster risk assessments as basis for identifying costs and prioritizing climate PAPs”.
To contextualize the discussions on the RPS, the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) provided examples of their efforts and initiatives in mainstreaming climate change into the Comprehensive Land Use Plan and Comprehensive Development Plan, respectively.
The RPS 101 was conducted with and designed for the CCC technical staff through the Vertical Integration and Learning for Low Emission Development (V-LED) project currently implemented by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, in partnership with adelphi gGmbH, in coordination with the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety.