Over 500 MSMEs embrace green practices in business
PASBREK - Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman) - October 26, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Over 500 micro, small and medium enterprises in the country have integrated green practices in their businesses under the Promotion of Green Economic Development (ProGED) project.

At least 53 of them come from Cebu.

ProGED is a development project between the Philippines through the Department of Trade and Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany.

In a press conference yesterday, Lydia Guevarra, resource generation director at DTI, said the project has created an awareness among these MSMEs on how to "green" their operations.

The project, which is set to end by December this year, aims to help MSMEs become climate smart, environment friendly and inclusive.

The project initially started in Cebu and Bohol in 2013 but had been replicated in other 28 provinces in the country. 

Even without external professional advice pr financing, these over 500 MSMEs had successfully greened their operations.

Majority of the greening strategies adopted were in the areas of energy efficiency, solid waste management, environment friendly supply and local procurement, and water savings and wastewater management. 

Various industry clusters such as tourism, processed food, gifts and decors, coffee, cacao, coco coir, rubber, bamboo and others are cited to have integrated environment friendly measures.

In fact, six roadmaps of the Board of Investments priority industries namely plastic, pulp and paper, furniture, automotive, housing and copper had been prepared for integrating environment friendly measures. 

According to GIZ, a federally-owned firm that works for the project, MSMEs need to start to incorporate business resilience measures into their strategies to cushion the impact of weather disturbances to their operations.

MSMEs need also to prepare to manage the effects of extreme climate events on their businesses.

Extreme weather events pose severe threats to MSME business operations and long-term viability.

Recent studies attribute their vulnerability to low capital availability,  limited access to coping strategies and general unpreparedness for such incidences.


Over the past five years, the Philippines has consistently ranked in the top three among 170 plus countries as most vulnerable to climate change.

These impacts are manifested in form of excessive rain, flooding, increasing temperatures and drought. 

Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), for instance, resulted in the deaths of more than 6,000 people while damages and losses were close to US $13 million.

An Asian Development Bank study also said that losses due to climate change can reduce Southeast Asia's gross domestic product by up to 11 percent by 2100 -- a 60 percent increase from the 2009 estimate of 7 percent.  (FREEMAN)

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