GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has chosen Sarangani province as pilot area for a World Bank-supported climate resilience and adaptation program for vulnerable communities.
DENR Assistant Secretary Corazon Davis said Wednesday the province emerged as among the provinces in the country that qualified for the rollout starting this year of the flagship Risk Resiliency Program (RRP).
Davis said seven other provinces were chosen for the project, which aims to "strengthen the resiliency of natural systems and urban built environment, as well as the adoptive capacities of vulnerable groups and communities to current and future risks and disasters due to climate change."
In a meeting with Sarangani officials at the provincial capitol, Davis said the program will assist in the implementation of priority climate resilience projects of the local government.
"We want to make sure that the plans of the (provincial) government to address climate change will be funded and implemented. If it lacks the needed funding, then the national government will come in," she said.
The official said Sarangani was chosen as pilot beneficiary due to its good standing in terms of governance, specifically as a consistent recipient of the Seal of Good Local Governance.
She said this indicates that the province has already institutionalized a system that ensures the successful implementation of big-ticket projects.
"To pilot a project, the chance should be high that it would become successful and implemented properly," she said.
Sarangani Gov. Steve Chiongbian Solon lauded the DENR for choosing the province as priority area for the program.
As a requirement, Solon said the local government submitted a project proposal that would help provide stable potable water supplies to 82 barangays in the province.
The proposed project, dubbed “Adequate Safe Water for the Vulnerable Communities of Sarangani,” has a funding requirement of around PHP520 million.
Solon said the 82 target recipient-barangays comprise areas in the province's seven municipalities that lack adequate potable water sources.
"We will allocate at least 10 hectares in these barangays that will be used for the construction of water system facilities," Solon said, adding that these sites will include a reforestation area to protect the water resources. (PNA)