Business chamber urges SMEs to upgrade wastewater facility


The German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI) is urging the Philippine small and medium enterprises (SME) to boost sustainability through wastewater upgrade, which is in line with the country’s water quality compliance.

“Given that the country is often struck by the effects of climate change and particularly with the issue of water shortage, companies have to establish a business case that is mindful of the environment and aligns with the resources that we have,” GPCCI President Stefan Schmitz said in a news statement.

GPCCI said this is parallel with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) Administrative Order (AO) 2016-18 or the Water Quality Guidelines and General Effluent Standards of 2016 as well as its updated version which is AO 2021-19.

Ambassador of Germany to the Philippines Anke Reiffenstuel said that Germany has recently passed the Supply Chain Due Diligence Act. This mandates companies with over 3,000 employees to be held responsible for their whole supply chain networks by 2023 onwards.

“Concerning bilateral business relations, this will affect business partners in the Philippines because it encompasses all business sectors,” Reiffenstuel said. “Hence, it is timely for stakeholders to learn about wastewater upgrades and how to report about the achievements of implementing these upgrades successfully.”

In relation with this, the GPCCI recently held workshop series on the matter in cooperation with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation Inc., Global Compact Network Philippines and DENR.

The program covered the different aspects of a system upgrade, including understanding of the industry policies, financing and crafting sustainability report following the implementation.

“We are pleased that we are able to provide this platform of exchange to allow almost 800 Philippine companies to address their environmental impacts,” Schmitz said.

The business group said it will be holding a virtual business mission in November with 10 German solutions providers engaged in water and wastewater management.

Recently, the GPCCI called for the lifting of the deployment cap for Filipino health-care workers (HCW) in Germany amid the high demand. GPCCI said that the European country needs about 50,000 HCWs, noting that the Philippines has 2,000 HCWs waiting for deployment.

Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said that the 6,500 deployment cap was already maximized this month. The Labor department is seeking to increase the deployment cap for HCWs by another 1,500 slots or a total of 8,000 this year.

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