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Philippines SEC Urges SMEs to Embrace Sustainability Initiatives

Women's Tabloid News Desk
Women's Tabloid News Desk

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is advocating for the integration of sustainability practices not only among large corporations but also within the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) sector. In a concerted effort to drive this agenda forward, the SEC has initiated a nationwide roadshow aimed at promoting sustainable business practices across all levels of the corporate landscape. Commencing in Cebu, this roadshow endeavors to institutionalize sustainability reporting within the corporate sector.

Beyond simply introducing the concept of sustainability and sustainability reporting to SMEs and large enterprises, the initiative is geared towards raising awareness, enhancing capacity, developing measurement tools, and establishing monitoring mechanisms to embed sustainability into their core business operations. According to SEC Commissioner Javey Paul Francisco, the ultimate goal is to envision a future where sustainability becomes a standard practice for all enterprises, irrespective of size.

Francisco emphasizes the potential benefits of embracing sustainability practices and implementing sustainability reporting, citing enhanced competitiveness, increased investor attraction, and meaningful contributions to sustainable development. SMEs and large enterprises collectively account for 105,000 business establishments in the Philippines, providing employment to over 5.7 million Filipinos. The SEC underscores the critical role these entities play in shaping a more sustainable future and stresses the importance of ensuring their adherence to sustainable practices.

Presently, only publicly listed companies are mandated to submit sustainability reports to the SEC, as stipulated under SEC Memorandum Circular 4, Series of 2019. However, the SEC is in the process of updating its guidelines to align with the latest developments in global sustainability frameworks. Francisco underscores the significance of businesses in addressing complex global challenges such as climate change and social inequality, highlighting sustainability reporting as a means to create long-term value for businesses, society, and the environment.

Following the kickoff in Cebu, the SEC plans to extend the roadshow to Davao and Baguio in June and September, respectively. This will be followed by the annual corporate governance forum organized by the SEC in collaboration with the Philippine Stock Exchange in November. These initiatives underscore the SEC’s commitment to fostering sustainability and corporate responsibility throughout the Philippine business landscape, paving the way for a more sustainable and resilient future.

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