DOF eyeing energy transition opportunities with ASEAN+3

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The Philippines is looking forward to future initiatives that would help accelerate the first from coal to sustainable energy sources under the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Plus Three (ASEAN +3) cooperation, the Department of Finance (DOF) said. 

“Overall, the Philippines is committed to engaging with the working committees to realize our shared goal of building a regional financial system that encourages transparency, harmonization of regulatory regimes, and broader-based capital markets,” Finance Sec. Carlos Dominguez III said in a statement. 

The ASEAN+3 monetary authorities had endorsed China’s initiative on transition finance, which shall begin with the evaluation of the region’s needs, concerns, and recommendations. 

Transition finance refers to funding the costs of gradually moving away from fossil fuels into clean energy sources. The Asian Development Bank last year announced its support for the Philippines and Indonesia’s energy transition. 

“The Philippines is currently pursuing a rapid shift to renewable energy sources. We look forward to exploring opportunities to support our transition from heavy reliance on coal to alternative sustainable energy sources,” Dominguez said. 

The ASEAN +3 Finance Cooperation includes members of the ASEAN; Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam, as well as its partners from East Asia; Japan, Korea, and China. 

Local banks like Security Bank, Rizal Commercial Baking Corporation, Bank of the Philippine Islands, and BDO Unibank have all announced their support for funding renewable energy projects and announced their stance to stop funding new coal projects.

Earlier, energy advocacy coalition Withdraw From Coal called out the said local banks for being continuously involved in funding coal projects. 

Dominguez also commended the work of the Asian Bond Markets Initiative as it has been “unwavering in its efforts to strengthen support for infrastructure finance and create an ecosystem for sustainable bond market development.”