MANILA –A measure has been filed in the Senate on Tuesday seeking to establish “environmental units” in every banking institution to assess the environmental component of loan applications.
Under Senate Bill No. 436, Sen. Loren Legarda wants to ensure that loans or related funding applications in both public and private lending institutions comply with the country’s environment laws.
Legarda, chair of the Senate Committees on Finance and Climate Change, said the measure will complement the Philippine environmental laws and will contribute to their implementation.
She said that it will also further involve the private sector in nation-building.
The senator pointed out that the environmental units will continue monitoring the project’s environmental compliance until such time when the account is fully paid or the collaterals are released or substituted.
Her measure will also help facilitate sustainable development and encourage business management.
“We have to strike a balance between economic development and environmental protection by creating in-house environmental units in every lending institution that will ensure that projects subject of financing applications as well as collateral offered as security shall conform to environmental laws,” Legarda said.
“…They have to look into reported complaints against a client’s project or collateral and monitor compliance through periodic reports submitted by the clients to ensure the success of this legislation,” she added.
Under said measure, the environmental unit shall be composed of three functional units, namely: Environmental Review and Assessment Unit tasked to ensure the environmental soundness of the project and the account’s compliance with environmental laws, thereby avoiding environmental risks; Environmental Policy, Planning and Systems Management Unit tasked to develop/enhance the lending institutions internal policy to effectively implement the corporate environmental policy; and Environmental Program Management Unit tasked to develop/manage grant-assisted environmental programs and assist project management units in developing environmental-related lending facilities that will provide services/support to the bank and its clients.