“More than half of the agency’s 2016 budget is allotted for programs that aim to further build the resilience of vulnerable communities and natural ecosystems against the devastating impact of climate change,” DENR Secretary Ramon Paje said.
The National Greening Program (NGP) gets the lion share of the DENR’s climate change expenditures at P8 billion.
NGP is a massive forest rehabilitation program under Executive Order 26 issued by President Aquino in February 2011.
The other climate change programs are protected area development and management program, P1.063 billion; forest protection, P473.6 million; restoration of major river basins (Integrated Natural Resources and Environmental Management Project), P398 million; national geo-hazards assessment, P397 million; clean water program, P194 million; ecological solid waste management regulations, P588.2 million; implementation of the area based management plan of Manila Bay, P80 million; wildlife protection and conservation, P72.2 million and hazardous waste management, P41.7 million.
The climate change programs also include groundwater vulnerability assessment, P18 million; establishment of monitoring stations in water constrained cities, P15.2 million; comprehensive water resource assessment in major river basins, P13.6 million; coastal resources mapping, P10.6 million; mapping of low-lying areas vulnerable to sea level rise due to climate change, P9.8 million; land cover mapping, P9.6 million and development of groundwater management plan, P6 million.
Meanwhile, Paje said water conservation should start this month to address the effects of El Niño.
Paje said that he would discuss the matter with the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) which he chairs, and order a thorough review of water allocation.
“We are confident that if the water level in Angat Dam reached its normal level of 212 meters, the water supply will be enough until the next rainy season. Considering the situation now, we are still hoping that rains will come in by May or June,” he said.
The NWRB increased Metro Manila’s water allocation from Angat Dam last month as the water level in the reservoir improved.
The municipal water allocation has been raised to 40 cubic meters per second from 38 cms this month, while the standby allocation for irrigation has been increased to 25 cms from 10 cms.
The NWRB said the amount is still below the normal water allocation of 43 cms for metro water concessionaires.
Source: Manila Bulletin | 10 January 2016