A MEASURE that will establish procurement preferences for sustainable products has been filed in the Senate, with its proponents saying it will help the Philippines achieve its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Senate Bill No. 1895, the proposed “Green Public Procurement (GPP) Act,” will establish a GPP program in all government agencies, leading to the procurement of more goods with reduced environmental impact.

“This proposed measure seeks to establish the government as a principal catalyst in shaping sustainable practices and industries in the country by incorporating the factor of environmental impact in its procurement policies,” according to the bill’s explanatory note.

Goal 12 of the SDG agenda aims to ensure responsible consumption and production patterns. The SDGs, adopted by United Nation-member states in 2015, are a set of 17 goals seeking to ultimately end poverty and hunger and other forms of deprivation by 2030.

The bill will also institutionalize the GPP within agencies under the Executive department, precursors of which were created via Executive Order No. 301, series of 2004.

The GPP will require the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System to identify all government agencies procuring consumable and non-consumable supplies and equipment, identified as part of the Green Procurement Road Map.

It will also promote green criteria in government procurement and developing technical specifications for products, measuring for environmental impact.

The Government Procurement Policy Board, as key implementor, is required to harmonize GPP guidelines and procedures as well as design capacity-building and training programs.

The board will also develop an incentive scheme to encourage broader participation.

“The government-led initiative is expected to spill over to the private sector, heighten awareness on more sustainable practices, and encourage more enterprises to produce more environment-friendly products and processes,” according to the bill. — Charmaine A. Tadalan