June 18, 2020 – Today, the Republic of the Philippines officially signed a Host Country Agreement (HCA) with the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) to open a GGGI country office in the Philippines. Due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, the signing ceremony took place virtually with the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin Jr., and GGGI Director-General, Dr. Frank Rijsberman, signing the agreement.
Since 2012, GGGI has been partnering with National Government Agencies, including the Climate Change Commission (CCC), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) to support the Republic of Philippines in its transition toward climate resilient and inclusive green growth. GGGI’s initial intervention, mainly rooted in a climate adaptation, has focused on green growth planning, policy analysis, and capacity development for the decentralized local government units (LGUs), notably in the Provincial Government of Palawan and Oriental Mindoro.
“Your presence today demonstrates our commitment to work together for a healthier greener planet regardless of the situation. And somehow there is a connection between the circumstances [of COVID-19] and our commitment for a healthier greener planet. How badly we live at the environment’s expense may be at the root of this crisis,” explained Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin Jr., Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines. “We thank GGGI for its work in the Philippines. Its help in mainstreaming and integrating climate change sensitive policies into public consciousness and national plans brings us closer to the clean green world we hope for our posterity.”
Since 2019, GGGI’s intervention has expanded toward structuring bankable projects and bringing climate finance to the country, while strategically pivoting from pure adaptation to hybrid activities including mitigation, for instance committed to supporting the Philippines’ clean energy transition.
“We acknowledge that COVID-19 has a very high price to pay for the economy and for the people of the Philippines. To that end, we are ready to support our member governments to green the recovery packages for the COVID-19 pandemic,” shared Dr. Frank Rijsberman. “The KOICA project in Oriental Mindoro is one example of working on green growth in a way that is also sensible in the context of COVID-19 focusing on green employment. I think that in years to come this will be particularly relevant to have indeed environmentally sustainable development that is socially inclusive and delivers the green jobs that your people and the people of all our Members need.”
Mr. Juhern Kim, GGGI’s Country Representative for the Philippines, added that “Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we are fully committed to supporting the Philippines’ clean energy transition, especially as this is a unique opportunity in which we can help expedite the President of the Philippines’s call in his recent State of the Nation Address to fast-track renewable energy projects.
On the other hand, GGGI will support the sustained growth of the agricultural sector in the Philippines by enhancing agri-based micro-enterprises’ business acumen, capacity of producing process food products, and market access, mostly affected by the pandemic in economic terms to enhance the country’s ability to weather future external shocks.
GGGI’s Annual Report 2019 featured achievements witnessed by the GGGI Philippines team last year. One of its success stories included providing donation of USD 910,000 worth of electric tricycles (e-trikes) to the municipalities of San Vicente and Brooke‘s Point in Palawan Province under a deal from the Asian Development Bank facilitated by GGGI. The initiative was led by the Department of Energy’s ‘Market Transformation through the Introduction of Energy Efficient Vehicles Project’, or simply the ‘E-Trike Project’ to promote an agenda of green city development.
Learn more about GGGI’s work in the Philippines by clicking here.
Watch the full ceremony by clicking here.