MANILA – The Climate Change Commission (CCC) plans to start implementing next year a system to certify business enterprises that comply with Republic Act (RA) No. 10771, or the Philippine Green Jobs Act of 2016, which would help integrate labor and employment aspects in nationwide efforts to deal with climate change.
"We're working with the Department of Labor and Employment on finalizing the certification system's guidelines," CCC planning officer Ayesha Sarapuddin said during a climate resilience forum in Quezon City on Thursday.
Sarapuddin said CCC plans to pilot-test the guidelines this year at a venue the agency will identify soon, to further refine them before implementing the certification system possibly in 2020.
The guidelines will enable CCC to assess operations of enterprises aiming to be certified as green job providers, she said.
RA 10771 orders CCC to “develop and administer appropriate standards for the assessment and certification of green goods and services, and green technologies and practices for the purpose of regulating the availment of incentives and ensuring green jobs content pursuant to the National Green Jobs Human Resource Development Plan as provided in Section 6(a) hereof.”
According to RA 10771, green goods and services are “goods and services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources, and may include research and development, installation and maintenance services.”
“Green jobs refer to employment that contributes to preserving or restoring the quality of the environment, be it in the agriculture, industry or services sector,” it said.
RA 10771 also states that business enterprises are establishments engaged in production, manufacturing, processing, repacking, assembly or sale of goods and/or services, including service-oriented enterprises.
“It shall include self-employed or own-account workers, micro, small, and medium enterprises and community-based business enterprises,” it added.
Among the agricultural activities with green job prospects is organic farming.
FAO said field trials worldwide show that compared to mineral fertilization, organic fertilization increases the soil's organic carbon -- sequestering in the soil significant quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere.
CO2 is among greenhouse gases that help trap heat in the atmosphere, raising global temperature leading to climate change.
CCC will certify enterprises that will pass the agency's assessment on compliance with RA 10771, Sarapuddin said.
"There will be incentives for certified enterprises," she added.
RA 10771 provides for “special deduction from the taxable income equivalent to 50 percent of the total expenses for skills training and research development expenses which is over and above the allowable ordinary and necessary business deductions for said expenses under the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended.”
The incentives also include “tax- and duty-free importation of capital equipment: provided that the capital equipment is actually, directly and exclusively used in the promotion of green jobs of the business enterprise,” notes RA 10771.
“Incentives that will be granted under this Act shall be in addition to fiscal and non-fiscal incentives already granted or provided under existing laws, orders, issuances and regulations,” RA 10771 continues.
Sarapuddin, however, clarified business enterprises must voluntarily apply for CCC certification.
She said among the enterprises that can apply for certification are those engaged in organic farming and renewable energy.
"Enterprises can apply for certification as long as these pay taxes," she added. (PNA)