Press Release
February 1, 2016

Companies with "green jobs" to receive incentives

The Senate today approved on third and final reading Senate Bill No. 3092 which grants incentives to companies that provides "green jobs" or jobs that contribute substantially to the preservation and conservation of the environmental and natural resources.

Sen. Juan Edgardo 'Sonny' Angara, sponsor of Senate Bill No. 3092 or the proposed Philippine Green Jobs Act of 2016 said the bill aimed for cleaner environment and improved economy while decreasing the number of unemployed.

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon said that the measure is a way to stimulate participation from the private sector on programs that will help protect the environment: "Given that the country is in a vulnerable position amid the effects of climate change, protecting the environment should not just involve the national government but rather the private sector as well."

"Green jobs" are jobs that help "protect ecosystems and biodiversity, reduce energy, materials and water consumption through high-efficiency strategies; de-carbonize the economy, and minimize altogether avoid generation of all forms of waste and pollution," Senator Loren Legarda, who introduced the bill, said.

"A green job must be kind not only to the environment but most of all to the workers. Such jobs must also pay adequate wages, provide safe working conditions, and adhere to widely held workers' rights including the right to organize," she added.

Legarda said decisive action was needed to build a 'greener,' less carbon-intensive and more resource-efficient economies.

"By making countries accountable to the world for their carbon-emission reduction schemes and green policies, the Paris Agreement marked a step in favor of the planet," Angara said.

Angara, acting chair of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development, cited a 2011 United Nations report which showed that investments in "green" industries are generally more employment intensive and are a big help in the fight against climate change.

"A 'green jobs' boom could happen here in the Philippines - in energy, for instance, also in retrofitting buildings for energy efficiency, climate change adaptation and sustainable resource management," Angara said.

Under the measure, the Department of Finance (DOF) is tasked to come up with an incentive scheme to encourage individuals and companies to engage in "green jobs in accordance with the national green jobs human resource development plan to be formulated by the Department of Labor and Employment.

Moreover, the proposed Philippine Green Jobs Act of 2016 mandates the Philippine Statistics Authority to maintain a database of green careers, professions and skills.

"Green jobs are the future of the world of work. In some countries, they already account for significant portions of the workforce. Eventually, green economies will be the norm," Legarda said. (Apple Buenaventura)

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