Speaking at the recent International Corporate Social Responsibility Summit in Singapore, Philippine Foreign Trade ASEAN Leader and Department of Trade and Industry’s Commercial Counsellor for Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei Glenn Peñaranda emphasized the critical role both government and private sector play in achieving sustainable development. Peñaranda spoke at the summit on behalf of the Philippine National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

“The strengths and synergies of stakeholders will help in the formulation of better plans and programs that champion sustainable practices. We are committed in working with the private sector and civil society towards achieving green and sustainable development goals,” said Peñaranda.

The Philippines is one of the forerunners of sustainable development in Asia and has been considered one of the pioneers in the Asia-Pacific region in establishing a multi-stakeholder body, with the creation of the Philippine Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) in 1992 which is currently chaired by the NEDA Director-General. It promotes development by policy integration, establishing indicators and standards in monitoring contributions of government institutions and businesses and continuing education and raising awareness for current and future generations.

The PSCD led the creation in 1997 of the Philippine Agenda 21 (PA21), the nation’s blueprint for sustainable development. This was complemented by the business sector with the Business Agenda 21 which provides the broad vision and implementing strategies and parameters for sustainable development. In 2012, the Philippines renewed its political commitment by participating in the Rio+20 Conference in Brazil.

Over the years, the Philippine government has established an enabling environment that facilitates implementation of activities and business processes by the enactment of laws translated into key programs and activities of government and the private sector. Policies are on protected areas for biodiversity, wildlife, clean air and water, renewable energy, fisheries, among others. Furthermore, an Environmental Compliance Certificate was made a requisite document for a project evaluation.