MANILA, Philippines—The European Union is giving the Philippines some P189 million (3.5 million euro) in grants to fund projects aimed at promoting cleaner and more energy-efficient production and consumption in the country, an environment official said.
The financial aid will be bestowed under the EU’s SWITCH-Asia Programme in the hope of helping accelerate the Philippines’ switch to sustainable consumption and production, Environment Undersecretary Manuel Gerochi said.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources chairs the steering committee of SWITCH-Asia in the Philippines, with the Departments of Energy, and Trade and Industry, the Climate Change Commission, and the National Economic Development Authority as partners.
SWITCH-Asia is a regional grant facility that aims to “contribute to green growth, poverty reduction and climate change mitigation in Asia,” specifically by promoting sustainable modes of consumption and production.
The Philippines is one of four pilot countries receiving grants under the program, along with Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
It is “an opportunity to reverse the trend of economic development at the cost of the environment through better practices in production and consumption by shifting to producing goods and offering services in an environmentally sustainable manner,” Gerochi said in a statement.
The EU recognized the Philippines for having adopted a comprehensive legal framework for sustainable consumption and production, including policies such as the Renewable Energy and Biofuels Act, and the Clean Air Act.
But the full and effective implementation of such policies is hampered by structural and budgetary constraints, it noted.
Under SWITCH-Asia, government agencies tasked with enforcing relevant laws on sustainable production and consumption will be provided technical assistance and training.
Started in July 2012, the program will operate until December 2016.
The DENR said the project has already seen preparatory activities, such as coordination and consultation meetings with officials and stakeholders, data collection, and identification of training activities.