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Diokno calls for balancing progress and environment in sustainable finance

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said on Monday that environmental policies must enhance progress in the country, but they should not be a hurdle to improving the living conditions of Filipinos.

Speaking at the opening of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Sustainable Finance (ITSF) Meeting, Diokno said the government is working on creating a sustainable finance ecosystem to better coordinate public and private investments for green and social projects that will benefit the environment and the people.

“Environmental-related policies must enhance, not impede, the present and future development potential of the country, nor should it hamper the attainment of better living conditions for the Filipino people,” Diokno said.

The ITSF was established in 2019 through a technical assistance from the British government under the ASEAN Low Carbon Energy Programme to support the development of a green and sustainable Philippine economy.

The ITSF released the roadmap and guiding principles for sustainable finance in October 2021, but long-term policies have yet to be laid out to ensure continuity and effectiveness across sectors and industries.

The ITSF meeting provided updates on the status and the implementation of the roadmap and the guidelines, and the Philippines’ priorities on climate change.

“The Department of Finance recognizes the integral role of finance in the discussion concerning sustainable economic growth and concrete climate action. Hence, the ITSF is in the best position to encourage the public and private sectors to design and implement programs, activities, and projects that contribute to environment conservation, inclusive growth, and sustainable development,” Diokno said.

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