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Holistic green purchasing and procurement towards achieving a greener environment were the focus of the presentation of Atty. Jose Tomas C. Syquia, Executive Director IV of the Procurement Service-Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PS-PhilGEPS), in the Kailkasan GP3 Expo Conference held at the SMX Convention Center, SM Aura, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig on July 23, 2015.

Atty. Syquia stated that the PS-PhilGEPS presently offers green products such as envelopes and toilet tissue paper with the mark of Green Choice Philippines. Specifications of IT equipment are also being studied to comply with energy saving measures. He said that the PS-PhilGEPS building was installed with 171 Solar Power PV arrays mounted on the rooftop that generates at least 20 to 30% of its energy consumption from solar and to contribute in avoidance of at least 31,000 tons of greenhouse gases from being introduced to the atmosphere. He also added that the organization does not use lights during day time and will soon be changing all LCD light bulbs into LED.

Atty. Jose Tomas C. Syquia, Executive Director IV of PS-PhilGEPS.

The Kalikasan GP3 Expo Conference, now on its 4th year, was presented by the National Ecolabelling Programme-Green Choice Philippines (NELP-GCP) with the theme “The New Green Revolution: Climate-Smart Businesses and Eco-Conscious Consumers”. GP3 stands for Green Productivity, Green Purchasing towards Green Philippines.

Usec. Demetrio L. Ignacio (CESO I), Undersecretary for Field Operations, of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, officially opened the conference by discussing the present situation of the Philippine environment and the challenges that the country constantly faces such as typhoons and pollution. He also presented the aim of the conference which is to provide an avenue for greater knowledge, best practices and shared experiences; forge partnerships and build networks that will spur the promotion of green business, eco-conscious consumerism and preservation of the Filipino heritage and the arts. At the end of his presentation, he encouraged the participants to continue helping in the conservation of our environment.

Sec. Nereus O. Acosta, the Philippine Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection and the General Manager of the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA), said in his keynote speech that the reason why many people opt not to discuss the issue of climate change is because there is so much disturbing data that overwhelms the people. He stated, though, that at the end, it boils down to the fact that we are able to understand what is happening in the national picture so we may value and protect our environment, and that we cannot protect what we cannot understand. “Tuwid na daan sa luntiang paraan” was the last phrase that Sec. Acosta left to the attendees.

Kalikasan GP3 Expo Conference also involved the official opening of the Kalikasan, Kultura, and Kalakalan, or the KKK, Expo 2015, which is a trade exhibition that featured green products and services, innovative technologies, cultural exchanges and regional highlights, and sustainability activities that are conducted by various organizations, government agencies, and businesses.

Under the KKK Expo, Dr. Thomas Lehmann, Project Director of GIZ Thailand, talked about the regional cooperation on sustainable consumption and production for a low-carbon economy. GIZ is a federal enterprise that supports the German Government in achieving its objectives in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development. It was discussed that some of the benefits of regional cooperation are good transport links and infrastructure, simplified trade and economic cross-border cooperation and the availability of sufficient amount of energy at reasonable prices.

On the other hand, Mr. Matthieu Penot, Environment and Trade Attache of the European Union (EU) Delegation to the Philippines, informed the participants that through the air quality monitoring that they have conducted, they discovered that the air pollution in Metro Manila, specifically the Taguig City, is not as bad compared to other Asian countries such as New Delhi and Beijing China. Mr. Penot also talked about the partnership among EU, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and PS partnership

The Conference also discussed the Green Procurement and Ecolabelling, Leadership on Sustainability, Industry Experiences on Green Business and the Opportunities, Benefits and Incentives for Green Business.

Mr. June M. Alvarez, Executive Director of Philippine Center for Environmental Protection & Sustainable Development, Inc., Atty. Dennis S. Santiago, Executive Director V of GPPB, Ms. Maureen Grace V. Lebria, Programme Manager of National Ecolabelling Programme-Green Choice Philippines Secretariat and Atty. Jose Tomas C. Syquia, Executive Director IV of PS-PhilGEPS.

Other speakers include; Usec. Jonas R. Leones of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB); Usec. Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba of the Department of Trade and Industry – Consumer Protection Group; Ms. Maureen Grace Lebria of the Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Inc.; Atty. Dennis S. Santiago of the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB; Vice Mayor Ma. Josefina G. Belmonte of Quezon City; Mr. Bonar A. Laureto of Philippines Business for Environment; Mr. Rafael Malalang of SM Super Malls; Mr. Jess G. Reyes of Nestle Philippines; Mr. Alejandro M. Recto of Amon Marketing Corporation and; Ms. Anita C. Salayon of Development Bank of the Philippines.

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