CCC checks progress of Del Carmen’s Climate Field School

CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje (left) with Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte Mayor Alfredo Matugas Coro II (right) on the CCC’s visit to Siargao Climate Field School for Farmers and Fisherfolks

The Climate Change Commission (CCC) visited the Siargao Climate Field School for Farmers and Fisherfolks, a People’s Survival Fund (PSF) project, to check on the progress of implementation led by the local government unit of Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte.

The visit was spearheaded by CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director (VCED) Robert E.A. Borje and Del Carmen Mayor Alfredo Matugas Coro II, along with Surigao del Norte State University-Del Carmen Campus Director, Dr. Romy Jun Sunico.

The Siargao Climate Field School is the main component of the PSF project of Del Carmen, which aims to provide best available science and latest technology for agricultural and fisheries development. It is envisioned as a regional and national center of excellence for innovative solutions for small island-based ecosystems.

“The Climate Field School serves as a training ground for our farmers and fisherfolks to improve their source of livelihood amidst the climate vulnerabilities that our locality has,” Mayor Coro said.

The said project was approved in 2016 with a grant of PhP80.7 million.

“Our project serves as the benchmark for other LGUs in accessing PSF, especially for island municipalities,” Mayor Coro added.

In December 2021, however, the Siargao Climate Field School was among the infrastructure heavily damaged during the onslaught of Super Typhoon (ST) Odette[1], in which damages amounted to PhP50 million.

The losses and damages sustained by Siargao underscore the need to further ramp up capacities for climate change adaptation at the local level, and to further accelerate access to climate finance, VCED Borje said.

VCED Borje conveyed the CCC’s commitment to ensure that the project will become a model for other localities. The CCC will also assist the locality by looking for partners to further support upscaling project implementation.

In addition to the Climate Field School, VCED Borje also visited communities in Barangay Caub, one of the beneficiaries of the PSF project and among the most affected barangays by ST Odette.

To date, structural damages in Barangay Caub remain evident. In particular, the houses, as well as the seawall that protects the community from storm surges, are yet to be rehabilitated.

In a meeting with the barangay officials led by Brgy. Captain Raquel Barquilla, VCED Borje expressed CCC’s support to both the LGU and barangay for their resiliency.

“We will work closely with the LGU in exploring available support that may be provided in assisting the locality’s recovery towards climate resilience,” VCED Borje added.

According to VCED Borje, the CCC’s priority is to facilitate access of LGUs and local/community organizations to PSF and other climate finance mechanisms, and to bolster collaboration with the members of the PSF Board and the Department of Finance in improving systems and mechanisms.

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[1] International Name: Rai)