Green Jobs Bill by Congressman Nograles

Congressman Karlo Nograles filed a bill that aims to create and establish more environment-friendly industries and services to reduce the adverse effects of climate change in the country. As a complement to Climate Change Act, the representative from Davao City, recently filed the Philippine Green Jobs Act of 2014.

Poised to create employment opportunities that will be less harmful to the environment by using green technology, or innovations that conserve natural resources, Green Jobs Act of 2014 seeks to delegate the Secretary of Labor and Employment as an additional member of the Climate Change Commission, as well as mandates the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education to design and implement the appropriate curriculum in support of the green economy.

“With the adverse effects of climate change being felt around the world and its increasing threat to lives and properties, nations have found it imperative to facilitate and guide the process of making industries less harmful to the environment,” Nograles said.

Promoting climate-smart industries and services is a part of the National Climate Change Action Plan, as mandated by the Climate Change Act.

Green jobs are employment opportunities that produce goods and services that benefit and preserve the environment. These particularly involve business enterprises that use fewer natural resources in their production processes.

Sharing the vision of the Climate Change Act, Nograles also recognizes the integral role of labor in minimizing the impact of disasters brought by climate change, and maximizing the potential benefits of climate change as well.

More than highlighting labor as an essential economic force needed in sustainable development, the Nograles bill seeks to promote the right of individuals to a safe and clean ecology. To carry this out, Nograles said the government shall identify needed skills and develop programs for research and the training of workers.

“The bill requires the government to strengthen the capacity of workers and businesses to prevent, manage, mitigate and adapt to, the adverse impact of climate change and disasters and continue to create, sustain or expand opportunities for employment, by improving our business climate and working conditions,” he said.

To recognize efforts, fiscal incentives will be granted to individuals and enterprises who participate in the creation of green jobs, use green technologies, and produce green goods and services. This is also to encourage others to engage in the same practices.

The bill entitles participants to special deductions from gross income amounting to 200 percent of the total grants over and above the allowable ordinary and necessary business deductions under the National Internal Revenue Code. Incentives shall be administered by the Department of Finance.

The Climate Change Commission is tasked to formulate standards for the certification of green technologies, good and services that will be used in the granting of the said incentives.

As a long-term goal, Nograles also seeks to utilize the bill as a stepping stone towards a green economy—one that is “low-carbon” and “resource-efficient,” contributes to the well-being of constituents, and reduces environmental risks.

“As countries all over the world collectively move toward a more sustainable economy, public policy must center on developing a green jobs agenda, enhancing workers skills, and ensuring a just transition to a green economy,” Nograles said.

As the overall in charge of generating green jobs, the Department of Labor and Employment is tasked under the bill to create a national green jobs human resource development plan, which will sustain the transition into a green economy.

“It shall include programs, projects, and activities pertaining to basic, higher and technical vocational education and training, a database that identifies and links green job opportunities with private and public entities, and information on knowledge and skill requirements of a green economy,” Nograles concluded.

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