CCC: New COA rules to help promote effective climate projects

The Climate Change Commission (CCC) has expressed optimism the  Commission on Audit’s (COA) issuance of new regulatory guidelines would result in the effective implementation of climate-related projects and programs.

COA released on April 18 its Circular 2023-01, which provides guidelines in the audit of programs, activities and projects with Climate Change Expenditure Tagging (CCET) to validate the budget utilization and implementation in accordance with the laws, rules and regulations in place.

COA Circular No. 2023-01 provides guidelines to national government instrumentalities (NGIs) and COA auditors when auditing programs, activities, and projects (PAPs) part of the Climate Change Expenditure Tagging (CCET) process, under the General Appropriations Act (GAA).

The COA circular also aims to assess the economy, effectiveness and efficiency of the existing climate change programs. CCC vice chair and executive director Robert Borje said the new guidelines would pave the way for the proper use of climate funds.

“The CCC welcomes this audit policy of COA to support the CCET process. The new guidelines ensure not only the efficiency and effectiveness of its implementation, but also the proper utilization of resources intended for climate action,” Borje said in a statement.

“This initiative will go a long way in encouraging transparency and accountability from the government in how climate expenditures are allocated. We will work closely with COA and extend the necessary technical assistance for the conduct of post-implementation assessment of climate-tagged programs in our annual appropriations,” he added.

Borje said the regulatory guidelines would serve as a tool to promote a low-carbon future and build resilience to climate-related risks and disasters.

Government programs aimed at building climate resilience and promoting a low-carbon future such as the Enhanced National Greening Program, Flood Mitigation projects, and Early Warning Systems are tagged in the CCET.

The CCET budget has increased by 64.46% from P282.36 billion in 2021 to P464.50 billion in 2023. The budget is a tool used to track and monitor climate-tagged budgets in the annual appropriations.

The COA Circular emphasizes that all climate-related programs, activities, and projects for 2021 onwards should be implemented and delivered. (With PNA)