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PH recognized for progress in sustainable finance

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By Chino S. Leyco

The Philippines has been recognized as one of the emerging market economies with advanced banking reforms aimed at driving financing to fight climate change, the second Global Progress Report by the International Finance Corp. (IFC) revealed.

Based on IFC-facilitated Sustainable Banking Network (SBN) report, the Philippines is among the group of 38 development countries that are now moving from “commitment” to “formulating stage” under the preparation phase of sustainable finance.

IFC noted that for the last few years, the Philippine banking regulators and associations have implemented a broad range of initiatives linked to environmental and social risk management (ESRM) and green finance.

These reforms, IFC said have raised awareness, build capacity, and encourage stakeholder engagement in the Philippines.

Of the 38 countries, 22 have adopted national sustainable finance policies and voluntary principles, seven of which were launched in this year.

The report also showed the progress made by 14 countries to actively grow their green bond markets; and data showed increasing innovation by financial institutions to green their lending portfolios.

“SBN members have demonstrated that transforming financial markets toward sustainability is possible,” Georgina Baker, IFC vice president. “Emerging markets are on the forefront of this shift – and SBN’s tools and guidance have laid the groundwork for more countries to follow suit.”

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is currently drafting a policy framework for sustainable finance in response to growing market awareness and appetite for green and sustainable financing. The policy is targeted for completion by the end 2019.

BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said, “We are grateful to the International Finance Corporation for the continued support as we ramp up our efforts to implement our sustainable finance agenda.”

Established in 2012, SBN now represents 53 financial regulators and banking associations from 38 emerging countries committed to sustainable finance.

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