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Phl's first eco-directory set for release this year

By Catherine J. Teves

MANILA, Feb. 26 – A non-government organization targets releasing in August 2011 the print edition of the Philippines' first eco-directory of environment-friendly items and services.

"We're coming out with this directory to serve as purchasing guide for the public and private sectors," Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development Inc. (PCEPSDI) project coordinator Maureen Grace Lebria said Saturday on the side of the Philippine Lighting Conference Manila 2011 in Makati City.

PCEPSDI is partnering with the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) on this project to publish the eco-directory that'll be known as Philippine Green Pages (PGP).

Lebria noted PCEPSDI hopes PGP's publication will contribute towards increasing green purchasing nationwide to help boost environmental protection and sustainable resource use.

By helping hike market exposure of environment-friendly products and services, she 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.

Government is promoting ecolabelling through the National Ecolabelling Programme-Green Choice Philippines (NELP-GCP) which PCEPSDI administers.

NELP aims to change the public's consumption and production patterns that tend to misuse, abuse and degrade natural resources.

Lebria said PGP will have five categories: products, materials, components, services and products that ecolabelling organization 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.

This year, Lebria said PCEPSDI targets to double the number of ecolabelled products in the country.

"At present, we have only about 35 of such products," Lebria said.

She noted this number is less than one percent of total products in the market.

PCEPSDI earlier announced registration for 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.

She noted each registrant will get a print copy and compact disc version of PGP.

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

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

Lebria said copies of PGP will be distributed also to stakeholders that comprise NELP-GCP's board.

These stakeholders include the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Office of the President, Department of Budget and Management, National Solid Waste Management Commission, Department of Energy, Department of Science and Technology, PCEPDSI, National Consumer Affairs Council, Citizens' Alliance for Consumer Protection, Philippine Business for the Environment, DAP and Concerned Citizens Against Pollution.

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

She noted PCEPDSI is studying ways of making PGP more available to the public. (PNA)

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