Citing that the COVID-19 pandemic may impinge on the country’s efforts to achieve resilience and meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, Deputy Speaker and Antique Lone district Rep. Loren Legarda has sought the promotion of circular economy and a whole-of nation transition toward a sustainable future.
She said the policy and decision-makers should use the principles and strategies on circular economy and sustainable consumption and production as their guideposts.
“Our economy must leapfrog to a cleaner future, merging environmental sustainability with the long-time objective of socio-economic development without following the trajectories of developed countries that resulted in massive environmental degradation,” Legarda said.
She explained that circular economy implies using and reusing resources already in the economy more efficiently to minimize losses, and to rely less on the extraction of natural resources.
She noted that the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is developing the National Action Plan for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP), with the goal for Filipinos to “produce and consume green foods and services to accelerate the shift towards sustainable and climate-smart practices and lifestyles.”
Legarda has filed House Bill No. 7609, the proposed “Philippine Circular Economy Act of 2020,” to pave the way for the development of green markets by instituting measures that promote circular economic and sustainable consumption and production by improving reuse and recycling and reducing plastic consumption.
The former senator said the government should pursue a just transition to a low emission, resource-efficient, and circular economy through a systematic change in the accounting, use, and recovery of resources in the economy; and promote innovation and investment in climate-resilient technologies, practices, regulations, and standards, through a whole-of-government-and-society approach.
“Our circular economy should be a “Zero Waste circular economy,” she stressed.
The proposed Act covers producers and consumers involved in value chains of all goods, services, and processes, contributing to the Philippine economy, and to the mechanisms facilitating the policy, regulatory, and advocacy measures to promote, implement. monitor, and evaluate the strategies on circular economy.
Under the bill, a just transition plan action for workers from industries that may be affected by the proposed Act will be pursued. The government shall continue the pursuit of green jobs by providing market and non-market mechanisms to businesses and companies adhering to circular economy.
“The bill also seeks to promote the use of permanent culture as a design tool for urban and rural development and foster a just, inclusive, and sustainable green recovery from the pandemic,” she said.
HB No. 7609 calls for the participation of national and local government, businesses, non-government organisations, local communities, and the public in the transition toward a resource-efficient and circular economy, including capacity development.
“The activities contemplated in this Act cover the interplay between the pubic and private sectors,as well as national , subnational, regional, and global stakeholders, taking into consideration the trajectories under the better normal or green recovery directions consistent with national economy and planet-people-nature nexus,” Legarda said.