The Philippine government and the European Union agreed to continue their partnership through development cooperation during the second meeting of the Sub-Committee on Development Cooperation held in Manila on Nov. 23.
This was part of the annual bilateral dialogs under the European Union-Philippines Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.
Both sides discussed the attainment of the EU’s development programs in the Philippines and their contributions to the country’s socioeconomic development and peace process in Mindanao.
Other areas the Philippines and EU authorities jointly identified as priorities for cooperation are disaster risk management and digital cooperation, including the future Team Europe Initiative on Digital Transformation and Connectivity, to build on the Copernicus National program.
The Philippines also discussed the instrumental role of the PH-EU and ASEAN-EU cooperation, which provides the opportunity to access favorable financing to bring much-needed upgrades to the country’s digital, energy, transport, health and education infrastructure with the ASEAN Team Europe Initiative on Green and Sustainable Connectivity, which are crucial for the post pandemic economic recovery.
The subcommittee discussed the key goals and components of the Team Europe Initiative on Green Economy. The EU will finance this program with 60 million euros, targeting solutions at both the national and the local levels to contribute to reduce plastic waste, including marine litter; implement effective waste management; and support renewable energy.
As part of the Team Europe Initiative on Green Economy, the Philippine government also welcomed the EU’s initiatives on enhancing skills to match the demands of a modern sustainable economy; supporting the creation of green jobs; and taking full account of vulnerable parts of the population.
The EU said the focus on “green” is in line with the EU’s global commitment on Climate Action under the EU Green Deal. During the dialog, the co-chairs committed to swiftly take forward the approval of the Green Economy Program for the Philippines in early 2023.
The Philippines reiterated its commitment to prioritizing and addressing the gaps in climate financing with programs and initiatives towards climate adaptation and mitigation, especially bringing in EU know-how, targeted technical assistance and blended finance investment.
The Philippines also underscored the EU’s support to the country’s bid to promote inclusive economic growth through increased green finance instruments and circular economy to achieve low-carbon energy and increased energy efficiency.
The work of the subcommittee was formally opened by Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Jaime Victor Ledda and EU Ambassador to the Philippines Luc Véron.