ECONOMIC COMMISSION. Philippine government delegation (right) meets with their Swiss counterparts during the 5th Philippines-Switzerland Joint Economic Commission in Bern, Switzerland on Jan. 12, 2023. The Philippine Economic Zone Authority will launch sustainability reporting among registered business enterprises in economic zones this year. (Photo courtesy of PEZA)

MANILA – The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) will launch sustainability reporting among registered business enterprises (RBEs) in economic zones this year.

In a statement Wednesday, PEZA said integrating sustainability reporting in the reporting requirements for the RBEs is part of its updated memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

PEZA and GRI are strengthening their cooperation in accelerating Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by updating the March 2022 MOU in Switzerland last week.

PEZA officer-in-charge Tereso Panga joined trade officials in Bern, Switzerland on Jan. 12 for the 5th Joint Economic Commission meeting between the Philippines and Switzerland.

"This MOU aims to contribute to the acceleration and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the advancement of sustainability reporting in the Philippines especially within the ecosystem of export-oriented locators in PEZA," Panga said.

With the updated MOU, PEZA will hold roundtable discussion with RBEs in the first quarter of the year to get recommendations from its locators as it targets to issue a memorandum circular on sustainable trade and investments guidelines.

PEZA and GRI will also establish a Technical Working Group (TWG) composed of various locators and industries. The TWG aims to encourage the observance of sustainability actions and reports among businesses in the ecozones.

"Voluntary compliance to the GRI's Sustainability Action and Reporting and the UN (United Nations) SDGs can be a source of competitiveness for the country in attracting FDIs (foreign direct investments) and in enhancing regulatory compliance. Many advance and developing economies subscribe to these principles to be able to measure the impact of FDIs on the host countries toward inclusive, resilient, and sustainable development," Panga added.

This cooperation between PEZA and GRI is under the latter's Sustainability Reporting for Responsible Business program funded by the Switzerland State Secretariat for Economic Affairs. (PNA)