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President Aquino signs bill on promoting the creation of ‘green jobs’

MALACANANG, Philippines – President Benigno S. Aquino III has signed into law the bill on promoting the creation of ‘green jobs’, or employment that contributes to preserving or restoring the quality of the environment, be it in the agriculture, industry or services sector.
The President signed last April 29 Republic Act No. 10771, or the “Philippine Green Jobs Act of 2016″, which shall apply to establishments engaged in the production, manufacturing, processing, repacking, assembly, or sale of goods and/or services, including service-oriented enterprises.
The law also grants incentives to encourage business enterprises to generate and sustain green jobs, as certified by the Climate Change Commission.
The Department of Finance shall administer the granting of incentives, such as “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; and 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”.
According to the Act, it is the declared policy of the State to affirm labor as a primary social economic force in promoting sustainable development; afford full protection to labor, local and overseas, organized and unorganized, and promote full and productive employment and equality of employment opportunities for all; and promote the rights of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.
Section 2 of the Act provides that the State shall identify needed skills, develop training programs, and train and certify workers for jobs in a range of industries that produce goods and render services for the benefit of the environment, conserve natural resources for the future generation, and ensure the sustainable development of the country and its transition into a green economy.
“In recognition of the participation of individuals and business enterprises in jobs creation, the State shall provide incentives therefor,” the section reads.
Republic Act No. 10771 also mandates the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to coordinate with other government agencies in formulating a National Green Jobs Human Resource Development Plan on the development, enhancement and utilization of the labor force, both in the private and public sectors.
The plan shall have the primary objective of enabling and sustaining the transition into a green economy and the generation of green jobs towards more employment and equal opportunities and the promotion of social justice and workers’ welfare.
It shall include programs, projects, and activities pertaining to basic, higher and technical-vocational education and training, database that identifies and links green job opportunities with private and public entities, and information on knowledge and skill requirements of a green economy.
The DOLE, in coordination with the Philippine Statistics Authority, shall maintain a database of green careers, professions and skills, as well as a list of emerging business enterprises, which generate and sustain green jobs. It shall facilitate skills training assessment and certification, career advocacy, provide productivity and livelihood training, and extend technical assistance to enterprises to ensure labor law compliance.
Other agencies involved in the National Green Jobs Human Resource Development Plan are the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, National Economic and Development Authority, Department of Trade and Industry, Professional Regulation Commission, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Transportation and Communications, Department of Tourism, and Department of Public Works and Highways.
The amount necessary to implement the Act shall be included in the General Appropriations Act.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.