Wind turbines are seen in Pililla, Rizal, April 25, 2021. — Philippine Star/Michael Varcas

THE Department of Finance (DoF) is eyeing opportunities that will support the country’s shift to clean and renewable energy sources.

In a statement, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III expressed interest in the future initiatives of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Plus Three (ASEAN+3) to help hasten the country’s shift away from coal.

The ASEAN+3 monetary authorities endorsed China’s initiative on transition finance, beginning with evaluating the region’s needs, concerns and recommendations.

“Overall, the Philippines is committed to engaging with the working committees to realize our shared goal of building a regional financial system that encourages transparency, harmonization of regulatory regimes and broader-based capital markets,” Mr. Dominguez told the 25th ASEAN+3 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting (AFMGM+3) on May 12.

He said the Philippines is interested in the ASEAN+3 Future Initiatives, particularly in transition finance and digitalization.

“The Philippines is currently pursuing a rapid shift to renewable energy sources. We look forward to exploring opportunities to support our transition from heavy reliance on coal to alternative sustainable energy sources,” he said.

Transition finance refers to gradually transferring funding from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.

“On digitalization, we support intensifying our information exchange on innovative technologies and expanding the digital economy,” Mr. Dominguez added.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte has issued Executive Order No. 170, directing all government agencies to use digital methods for releasing and accepting payments, which would make formal financial services more accessible to more Filipinos.

The ASEAN+3 Finance Cooperation is composed of ASEAN members Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam; and their partners Japan, Korea, and China. — Tobias Jared Tomas