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Quezon province, UNDP ink partnership on climate resilience

LUCENA CITY (PIA) – True to its commitment in helping communities that are vulnerable to disaster and climate change, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)-Philippines signed an agreement to support Quezon province in its resilience-building efforts on Monday, July 3.

Quezon Governor Helen Tan led the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with UNDP-Philippines in partnership with the Australian Government that paves the way for the adoption of the Strengthening Institutions and Empowering Localities Against Disasters and Climate Change (SHIELD) Programme. 

“We want our policies to be evidence-based. We need experts’ intervention in determining the areas where we need to improve and provide capacity building activities to our partners on ground,” Tan said. 

The provincial government said the SHIELD is aligned with its development roadmap which prioritizes health, education, agriculture, livelihood, infrastructure, nature and tourism, and good governance. 

Through SHIELD, the Australian Government has invested AUD 18 million to support the Philippine government build institutional and community resilience to climate change and natural hazards by enabling local governments pursue and invest in resilient development.

The program will be implemented in 11 of the country's most vulnerable provinces to disaster and climate change impacts namely Albay, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Cagayan, Cebu, Davao Oriental, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, Pampanga, Pangasinan, and Quezon.

“With our consortium partners and the Australian Government, we reaffirm our strong commitment to support Quezon province in protecting the welfare of its people by developing its resilience to the effects of climate change,” said Dr. Selva Ramachandran, UNDP Philippines resident representative, 

The UNDP SHIELD  involves a ‘whole of society approach’  where 10 organizations including the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Office of Civil Defense (OCD), and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will capacitate the government, civil society organizations and the academe in building resilience. 

“Tayong lahat ay magiging bahagi ng programa with a common goal which is to build resilience. Lahat ng may kinalaman sa pagpapatakbo ng pamahalaan sa Quezon, gusto sana naming makasama sa programa,” explained UNDP SHIELD Program Manager Ma. Victoria de Guzman. 

Under the MOU, a Technical Working Group (TWG) will ensure that the province has appropriate plans and policies to lay the groundwork to further advance its economic development. The agreement will run until 2028. 

De Guzman said this will open possible areas for collaboration such as launching an application which can disseminate information to the public before, during, and after a calamity.  (PB)

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