Governor Arthur D. Defensor, Sr. personally handed the proposal to Climate Change Commission (CCC)  Commissioner Noel Antonio Gaerlan last April 24, 2018  at  the  Casa  Real De Iloilo in the presence of Mr. Rune Raphael Ylade of the New Zealand Aid Programme (NZAP), Dr. Alfredo Mahar Lagmay of the University of the Philippines Resilience Institute, Ms. Katherine Firmeza of the CCC-UNDP-NZAP Project ReBUILD, mayors from the different municipalities of Iloilo province, heads and representatives of national government agencies, planners and other stakeholders.

The establishment of the first Climate Change Adaptation Provincial Hub in Iloilo will be funded under the CCC-Peoples Survival Fund (PSF). It will transform Iloilo into a climate-smart province with the hub being a repository of data providing complete risk profile information in order for the city, municipalities and barangays in the province to come-up with science-based climate vulnerability and disaster risk assessment.

The hub establishment took-off from the outputs of the Resilience Capacity Building for Cities and Municipalities to Reduce Disaster Risks from Climate Change and Natural Hazards (Project ReBUILD), Phase 1 supported by the CCC, NZAP and the UNDP.

During the event, testimonials were made by recipient LGUs of Project ReBUILD Phase 1, namely: Mayor Jesry Palmares of Passi City who affirmed that generating actionable scientific data can be done at the local level; Mayor Ronaldo Golez of the Municipality of Dumangas who echoed the importance of increased local understanding of risks for better decision-making; and Mayor John Tarroza of the Municipality of Zarraga who emphasized on the costs and dangers of delayed decisions on DRR-CCA.

The activity was capped with the pledge of commitment and support from partner national government agencies, local government units, planners and other stakeholders, followed by responses from the CCC and NZAP.  In her message of commitment in behalf of the national government agencies, RD Ro-Ann A. Bacal of NEDA-VI emphasized the need to prepare project proposals to access the Peoples Survival Fund based on reliable data, scientifically analyzed hazards and risks, and convergent cooperation among  government partners such as CCC, HLURB, EMB, DILG, DBM and NEDA the ultimate goal is to transform areas from climate-vulnerable into climate-smart communities.  (PDIPBD)