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NGO eyes free access to Philippines' first eco-directory

MANILA, Feb. 26 – Non-government organization Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development Inc. (PCEPSDI) is looking into ways of making the country's first eco-directory Philippine Green Pages (PGP) available at no cost to the most number of people.

"We want this to be free for everyone," PCEPSDI project coordinator Maureen Grace Lebria said Saturday on the side of the Philippine Lighting Conference Manila 2011 in Makati City.

She stressed that PCEPSDI wants to maximize PGP's exposure to help promote green procurement nationwide by giving people access to information on some of the best local green manufacturers, distributors and sellers in the country.

"We're coming out with this directory to serve as purchasing guide for the public and private sectors," she said.

PCEPSDI targets releasing in August 2011 PGP's first published print edition.

Among strategies being considered to maximize PGP's exposure is tapping malls as venues for displaying PGP to help raise public awareness about and access to this directory, Lebria noted.

"We also had initial discussions with management of Shoemart malls on how to promote green products there," she said. Shoemart is the country's biggest chain of malls.

PCEPSDI is partnering with the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) in the project to publish PGP to help promote green procurement, environmental protection and sustainable resource use nationwide.

By helping hike market exposure of environment-friendly items and services through PGP, Lebria said PCEPSDI also aims to encourage more ecolabelling among companies and entrepreneurs offering these.

Ecolabelling is an international system of identifying products and services that reduce environmental impact.

"Items and services to be listed in PGP need not be ecolabelled, however," Lebria clarified.

PGP will feature five categories: products, materials, components, services and products that ecolabelling organization Green Choice Philippines (GCP) awarded.

For each category, she said there'll be different sub-categories.

These can range from furniture and apparel for the products category to metals and foam for the green materials category as well as vehicle and machine parts for the components category, she noted.

For companies and entrepreneurs listed in PGP, Lebria said PCEPSDI will provide printed and compact disc versions of this directory.

PGP will be posted on the Web also, she noted.

Lebria said PCEPSDI is already working out the costing for PGP.

Should this directory be made available to the general public at a price, however, she said such cost will be kept to the minimum possible.

"The price will probably be just enough to cover printing expenses," she said.

Aside from companies and entrepreneurs listed in PGL, Lebria said PCEPSDI will also distribute copies of this directory to stakeholders that comprise the board of National Ecolabelling Programme (NELP)-GCP.

PCEPSDI administers NELP-GCP.

"We'll also give complementary copies of PGP to local government units," Lebria said.

PCEPSDI earlier announced registration for listing in PGP will be until April 15 this year.

Among requirements for registration are business and environmental permits as well as certification and other proof supporting applicants' claim their items and services are environment-friendly.

"There'll be a P5,000 fee per product also and that'll be good for a year," Lebria said.

Prospective registrants can access www.pcepsdi.org.phphilgreenpages for more information on PGP registration. (PNA)

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