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Philippines eyes first green bonds

The Philippines is preparing to offer its first sovereign green bonds to fund climate mitigation projects, the Department of Finance (DoF) said on Friday.

In a statement, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said a sustainable finance roadmap approved last month seeks to harness public and private investments to support the country’s transition to a clean, sustainable and climate-resilient economy.

“We are also in the process of completing our sustainable finance framework for the issuance of our first-ever sovereign green bonds,” he said.

The Finance chief said the Securities and Exchange Commission had prepared the capital markets for green investments after releasing guidelines on green, social and sustainable bonds that follow regional standards.

The sustainable finance roadmap prepared by the DoF and Philippine central bank seeks to bridge policy and regulatory gaps in promoting sustainable investments.

The Philippine roadmap is aligned with Southeast Asian standards for green bonds along with other international green finance standards, the agency said.

Fifteen Philippine banks, electric and water utilities, energy and property companies have issued 29% or $4.8 billion of ASEAN-labeled green bonds as of end-September, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said.

Seven local banks have issued more than $1.15 billion and P85.4 billion of green bonds since 2017.

Members of the Executives’ Meeting of East Asia-Pacific Central Banks plan to adopt green investment rules through the Asian Bond fund by March next year.

BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said the central bank’s investment in green bonds could reach $1 billion in the next two years. — Jenina P. Ibanez

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