Today, we just signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) that is crucial to sustainability and involves a vital aspect of productivity and growth. This Agreement with the Plastic Credit Exchange or PCX will encourage our business sector to take responsibility for the plastic wastes that their products generate, reduce their own carbon footprint, and lessen the damaging impact of plastic wastes on the environment. On the part of the consumer sector, on the other hand, this will mold a consistent practice of ethical and sustainable consumption and the responsible use and disposal of plastics. Again, this is part of the circular economy as mentioned earlier.

When this was presented by Ms. Nanette Po, it came out as a really interesting, sustainable solution to the issue on plastics. This to me can be a better approach rather than totally preventing the use of plastics, as plastics have certain properties that are very useful, especially in the industry sector. We all know that sometimes it’s hard to have a replacement for a particular product we prevent from using, but sometimes the replacement is not that functional or a lot more expensive. So, plastics serve a purpose and the important thing is on how we can manage the plastics. This is one solution brought to us, and maraming salamat sa pag-reach out because when we heard about the program, it immediately got our support.

As we look forward to the return of normal commercial activity in the aftermath of the pandemic, we can expect to have a good system in place that will curb plastic pollution through a system of offsetting our plastic footprint by means of a market-based plastic credit mechanism. Our communities would soon be able to take part in the so-called circular economy, where more production and consumption does not mean more waste but rather, materials are able to retain their value and put to good use through recycling or upcycling. The day will come when plastic wastes will no longer be seen in our drainage systems and our oceans.

Plastics pollution has become one of the most pressing environmental issues on our planet. You can rest assured of the participation of the government through the DTI and the Consumers Protection Group (CPG) led by Undersecretary Ruth Castelo, in promoting this novel idea that will inspire the cooperation and participation of many. Having an efficient system for the aggregation, transport, treatment, processing, and disposal of used plastics lessens the burden on local governments and the communities.

We look forward to an increasing number of companies and establishments who will soon become “plastic neutral” and carry the PCX Mark or the Plastic Neutral Product Badge. We also eagerly anticipate seeing more establishments participating as drop-off points for consumers’ used plastics, and more sari-sari stores taking part in the “Waste to Cash” incentive scheme for consumers.

This, in turn, will encourage our local businesses—including micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs)—to be more innovative and competitive while creating a “Better Normal” of responsible consumption. What’s more, foreign investments are expected to thrive as we make a healthy business environment with sustainability-conscious enterprises.

These activities are consistent with the goals of the DTI Prosperity Plan 2017-2022, embodied in the slogan “Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan, at Konsumer.” From a larger perspective, sustainable solutions can help us build a society where Filipinos live a “matatag, maginhawa, at panatag na buhay.”

As we do so, we help realize the dream of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte of giving a better quality of life for all our countrymen.

We enjoin the private sector, as responsible consumers who will primarily benefit from this agreement, to actively participate in this endeavor. We also call on the business community to partner with the PCX in the collection of used plastics and achieve the goal of no plastics in nature.

Again, we thank you, PCX for this partnership.

Maraming salamat at mabuhay po kayo.

Date of Release: 27 August 2021