Fellow government workers, industry leaders, sustainability advocates, and esteemed guests, good morning.

We all seek a future that brings about economic growth in the long term. But the Philippines, like many developing countries, is vulnerable to environmental degradation, resource scarcity, and climate change. We must balance economic growth with long-term sustainability to ensure long-term economic viability. Thus, we bear the burden of ensuring our environment remains healthy, resilient, and sustainable.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) also emphasize the importance of sustainability in achieving economic growth, reducing poverty, and promoting social development.

Evidently, a sustainable green tech movement is vital for the Philippines. And our business companies must play a major part in such green efforts. They have a social responsibility to their employees, customers, communities, and future generations. By being green in their practices, companies can reduce their environmental impact, mitigate climate change effects, and promote environmental protection.

Incorporating sustainability in business practices is crucial for our country. Green practices will enable them to improve resource efficiency, reduce waste, and lower production costs. They can also ensure long-term viability by reducing risks, improving efficiency, and creating new opportunities. And in the end, they can create more jobs and improve working conditions.

Note also that many international markets require companies to comply with sustainability standards to do business with them. Green companies in developing countries like the Philippines can access new markets, increase sales, and improve competitiveness.

The urgency of incorporating sustainability in business practices in developing countries is also evident. Climate change, environmental degradation, and resource scarcity are becoming increasingly urgent

problems that threaten these countries’ economic and social development.

Furthermore, consumers and investors are becoming more aware of sustainability issues and are increasingly demanding sustainable products and services. Failure to incorporate sustainability in business practices can lead to reputational damage, lost sales, and reduced investment.

How can green practices and green technologies help the Philippines achieve sustainability?

Green technologies can play a vital role in helping the Philippines achieve sustainability by reducing the country’s carbon footprint.

For instance, we can only maximize our environmental gains if our electricity sources are decarbonized. The Philippines is blessed with abundant natural resources that can be used to generate clean and sustainable energy. Green technologies can help the country tap into these resources and produce energy from solar, wind, and hydropower sources.

Our government is deliberately expanding renewable energy investments in the country. In November 2022, the Department of Energy issued a circular amending the implementing rules and regulations of our Renewable Energy Act. The amendment is meant to allow up to 100% foreign ownership of companies engaged in developing, developing, and utilizing Philippine renewable energy resources.

Green technologies can also help the Philippines become more energy-efficient by shifting to LED lighting, energy-efficient appliances, and smart meters. These technologies can help reduce energy consumption and lower energy bills for consumers.

The Philippines faces a significant waste management challenge, with much of its waste ending in landfills or oceans. Landfills that emit greenhouse gases and aquatic life oceans get suffocated by plastic waste. Green technologies can help the country manage its waste sustainably by promoting recycling and composting technologies.

Agriculture is a vital sector for the Philippines but is also a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Green technologies can help farmers adopt sustainable practices that reduce their environmental impacts, such as using organic fertilizers, crop rotation, and precision agriculture.

The transportation sector is a significant contributor to carbon emissions in the Philippines. Green technologies can help promote the use of electric vehicles, public transportation, and other sustainable modes of transportation.

On a larger scale, our vision is for the Philippines to become a hub for green, new tech, and sustainable manufacturing. One of the critical priorities of the administration is to enable the transportation sector’s transition to electric vehicles (EVs). We recognize that a more inclusive and sustainable adoption of EVs will require a robust local EV manufacturing industry. Our government is inviting investments in EV assembly, including charging stations, automotive electronics, battery manufacturing, and mineral processing.

As mandated by the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act or EVIDA, the government is creating a targeted incentives program, similar to the CARS Program, through the Electric Vehicle Incentive Strategy (EVIS). EVIS seeks to attract huge investments to build the domestic EV industry and position the Philippines as a promising regional player in the EV value chain.

Nurturing clean and green technology startups is also a priority of DTI. We support various cleantech startups that address challenges in and innovate toward sustainability.

Overall, green technologies have the potential to help the Philippines achieve its sustainability goals by reducing carbon emissions, conserving natural resources, and promoting sustainable development.

Thank you.

Date of release: 21 March 2023