To help local government units and regulated industries, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), signed an agreement with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) that will boost green financing in the country by providing concerned stakeholders access to the best financing program available for their environmental improvement initiatives.

The agreement, signed April 12, 2012 at the DBP Executive Lounge, was inked by EMB Assistant Director Gilbert Gonzales for the DENR and DBP President Francisco Del Rosario, Jr.

Under the MoA, the DENR-EMB will work hand-in-hand with DBP as well as other financial institutions to assist its stakeholders in gaining access to financing programs that will support projects on improved environmental compliance, pollution control, waste management, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Gonzales conveyed the DENR’s optimism on the partnership as it seeks to help industries and other establishments, including government offices, to comply with existing environmental laws and standards.

“We recognize that the reason for non-compliance (to environmental requirements) is due to lack of funds to support investments in environmental improvements and pollution control. Through this partnership with DBP, we hope to address this gap and strengthen the implementation of the country’s environmental laws,” Gonzales said.

DBP President Del Rosario, on the other hand, stressed that the agreement provides a framework for a partnership arrangement between DBP and EMB for purposes of providing training and consultancy services to improve the country’s efforts to clean and protect the environment.

“The DBP continues to reaffirm its commitment to help industries, especially those cited for violation, to bring them back to a state of compliance and improve their environmental performance,” del Rosario said.

Alongside the DENR-EMB and DBP MoA, two other agreements were entered into by DBP. One was with European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) President Hubert D’Aboville and the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP) Secretary General Octavio Peralta.

The other one was between DBP and the Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) represented by its Managing Director Sreenivas Narayanan.

ECCP President D’Aboville described the partnership as a means to promote further the concept of sustainable development in the country by “introducing new business models that lead to greater profitability.” ADFIAP Sec. Gen. Peralta expressed his group’s commitment to make this green initiative work.

ASSIST Managing Director Narayanan, on the other hand, highlighted the need to boost small and medium enterprises’ (SMEs’) access on green financing. According to her, there is a need to educate SME’s in applying for financing programs to enhance the sector’s growth.

The DBP has continued to be at the forefront of the banking sector in supporting investments for environmental improvement. Credit facilities such as the environmental development project and the regional infrastructure for growth project have greatly helped the private sector, national agencies and local government units implement their environmental programs through the provision of credit and technical assistance support.

In 2011, the DENR cited the DBP for their green operations and was given an environmental excellence award during the 2011 recognition awards for eco-friendly government offices.