PH prepares $500-M green bond offering

Published February 18, 2022, 1:40 PM

by Chino S. Leyco

The Philippines will soon launch its maiden $500-million green bonds in the offshore debt markets to help raise funds for the country’s clean energy projects and other sustainable initiatives, the Department of Finance (DOF) announced.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said in a statement Friday, Feb. 11, that the green issuance amounting to at least $500 million,

known as environmental, social and governance (ESG) sovereign bonds, will be done “in the coming weeks.”

The finance chief disclosed that they are in talks with various banks on the government’s planned maiden green bond offering.

“We are discussing with various banks the appropriate structure for our maiden ESG offering, including size and tenor as well as looking at window of opportunity in different currency markets,” Dominguez said.

The Philippines’ maiden issuance of these green bonds forms part of the series of initiatives undertaking to implement concrete actions in the fight against climate change, given the “disappointing” response of Western countries.

“We cannot wait for the bureaucrats in the industrialized world to take their sweet time splitting hairs on the idea that the countries that polluted and continue to pollute the most must bear the greater part of the financial burden of reversing global warming,” Dominguez said.

Dominguez said that even though the Philippines contributes only 0.3 percent to the global greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), it had boldly committed to reduce these by 75 percent in 2030.

“We are disappointed, however, that the Western countries with the greatest volume of emissions were far less ambitious in their commitments to the global effort to rescue the planet. This includes many European countries,” Dominguez said.

Dominguez said the Philippines is determined to move ahead with fulfilling its climate ambitions, “on its own, if necessary,” although he pointed out that as an emerging economy, the country cannot fully achieve its carbon-reduction commitments without financial support.

To proceed with its climate ambition and pave the way for the green bonds’ issuance, the government inaugurated its Sustainable Finance Framework last year, said Dominguez, who is the official representative of the President to the Climate Change Commission (CCC).

Dominguez said the government is also working with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and some private sector partners in developing the innovative Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM).