News Release

Greater public-private sector tie-up needed to address COVID-19 pandemic, climate change — President Duterte

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his remarks during the virtual dialogue with the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) members at the Malacañang Palace on November 11, 2021. The President, who belongs to Group 4 along with fellow APEC leaders from Russia, Korea, and Peru, discussed: “COVID-19 has had an acute, negative impact on the most vulnerable in our communities, including women, small businesses and indigenous people. ABAC believes that to safeguard the future, we must regain the ground that has been lost and unlock the full potential of these disadvantaged groups. At the same time, we face increasingly dangerous climate change and the need to embrace the transition to low-carbon economy. What tools should we be using to address these inclusion and sustainability challenges?”. KARL ALONZO/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Thursday called for stronger public-private collaboration in addressing the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, as he underscored key areas of cooperation.

In his virtual participation to the 2021 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Dialogue with Economic Leaders, he noted ABAC’s substantial contribution to the region’s pandemic response efforts.

The APEC Business Advisory Council is the private-sector arm of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. It advises Leaders and other APEC officials on issues of interest to business.

The President said public and private sectors could work together in improving digitalization and literacy in rural communities, establishing a national Social Protection Floor (SPF) and facilitating developing economies’ transition to a low-carbon economy.

He emphasized the importance of promoting digital literacy to facilitate the inclusion of vulnerable groups in the digital economy, saying “this will help increase the economic productivity of marginalized groups under the new normal”.

To facilitate digital inclusion efforts, the Filipino leader underscored the need to “establish the necessary infrastructure for accessible, stable and affordable energy supply in remote communities”.

Establishing a national SPF could address the gaps in the social protection programs that were exposed during the pandemic, he said, stressing SPF will guarantee a minimum set of social security benefits for all, including workers in the informal sector and gig economy.

Tackling climate change, the President reiterated the call for a sustainable, scaled-up and predictable support from developed countries to help developing economies adapt to and mitigate the adverse consequences of changing climate.

This includes climate finance, technology transfer and development and capacity-building.

“In the interest of climate justice, we need these to transition to climate-smart development and adapt to and mitigate the worsening effects of climate change,” he said.

Joining the President during the dialogue were Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua and Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs Robert E.A. Borje. PND