THE Philippine government is now at the forefront of buying green through the implementation of the Green Public Procurement (GPP) Regime.
It is an initiative that is part of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022’s Strategic Framework to Ensure Ecological Integrity, Clean and Healthy Environment. It bears on the country’s commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals put forth by the UN, contributing to the development of high-priority national policies on clean air and water, health and quality of life, waste reduction, security of energy supply and development of local economies.
Through this GPP program, supplies, equipment and services secured by government agencies are subject to specifications that ensure reduced environmental impact throughout their life cycle.
Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said, “The government is buying green products toward our goal of sustainable production and consumption. The traditional view is that the government should do this through regulation but, in addition, [the] government should do this by example.”
“We have a responsibility to those who come after us, so we want to make sure that the future environment will be better than how it was transmitted to us,” he added.
Executive Director Dennis S. Santiago of the Government Procurement Policy Board-Technical Support Office (GPPB-TSO) said, “As the single largest buyer in the market, government procurement policies influence the direction that manufacturing takes. When environment-friendly processes and technologies are encouraged by public-sector demand, more growth in green manufacturing is expected. Ultimately, this lowers the costs for green products, benefiting the public and easing pressure on the environment in the long run.”
While needs assessment and contracting mechanisms remain the same, GPP provides green criteria through technical specifications that reduce environmental impact over conventionally produced goods or services. Initially, the focus will be on simple, green core criteria across 20 product categories. The criteria may expand in comprehensiveness in later years as industries adjust to government’s needs.
“Through life-cycle costing, you lessen your cost every step of the way. When manufacturers incorporate green criteria in production, distribution and disposal, these costs are reduced. By incorporating green criteria with the life-cycle approach, you reduce costs and maximize profits,” Executive Director Bingle Gutierrez of the Department of Budget and Management Procurement Service said.
For GPPB-TSO Deputy Executive Director Melissa A. Santiago-Yan, “In addition to being able to contribute socioeconomic benefits, implementation of GPP will show government’s commitment as a responsible procurer—responsible not only in delivering service to the public, but also responsible to the preservation of the environment for future generations to enjoy.”
The GPPB-TSO launched the Philippine Green Public Procurement Roadmap on June 7 in coordination with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the DBM Procurement Service and the Department of Trade and Industry and the European Union SWITCH Policy Support Component (EU-SWITCH PSC) Philippines.
The road map was developed with technical support from the EU-SWITCH PSC, a major milestone in the promotion of sustainable consumption and production in the Philippines. It is also considered to be a major part of the Government’s long-term solutions in the adoption and mitigation of the destructive effects of climate change.
The EU-SWITCH PSC programme in the Philippines, running from June 2012 to 2017, is a technical assistance worth 3.5 million euros (P190 million) to the government of the Philippines that is aligned with the PDP 2011-2016 and 2017-2022.