THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) pressed companies to look at using blue bonds for their capital raising as well as promoting environmental sustainability.

“Blue bonds, as a specialized class of debt securities, are emerging as a powerful tool globally to promote environmental sustainability, not only in the corporate sector but also at the sovereign level,” SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino said in a statement on Tuesday.

“These bonds provide a unique opportunity for us to channel investments into projects that support marine conservation, sustainable fisheries, and responsible aquaculture,” he added.

According to the SEC, blue bonds are a subset of green bonds and sukuk, whose proceeds will exclusively be used to finance or refinance new or existing eligible blue projects and activities.

Some of the examples of blue projects are ecosystem management and natural resources restoration of coastal, marine, river, lake, and other marine- or water-based ecosystems; sustainable fisheries management; and sustainable aquaculture.

The SEC said this as it officially launched the guidelines on the issuance of blue bonds in the Philippines on Tuesday, which is part of efforts to promote sustainability and increase participation in the capital market.

“As we unveil the guidelines on blue bond issuances, we take a giant leap towards fostering a sustainable blue economy and building a robust capital market in our country,” Mr. Aquino said.

The issuance of blue bonds in the Philippines is covered by SEC Memorandum Circular No. 15, which was issued in September.

Under the circular, projects and activities that are issuing blue bonds should meet Sustainable Development Goals 6 or 14 of the United Nations, which aim to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation, and to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave