In line with the celebration of the 2019 Economic and Financial Literacy Week (EFLW), the NEDA MIMAROPA conducted the Regional EFL Forum, focusing on sustainable consumption and production (SCP), on November 12 at Palawan State University in Puerto Princesa City.

The annual celebration is pursuant to Republic Act No. 10922, or the Economic and Financial Literacy Act, which declares the second week of November as EFLW. This year’s celebration carries the theme “Our Planets Health, The Future’s Wealth.”

The forum aimed to provide a venue to share experiences related to SCP and build awareness among individuals, institutions, and organizations; enable communities for collective actions to promote SCP and achieve it through promoting values of civil society; and create awareness regarding environmental pollution and degradation and its effect to human health, social setup, and economy.

Around 110 participants consisting of senior high school students and faculty members from Palawan State University including representatives from the regional line agencies and city government of Puerto Princesa participated the forum.

OIC Regional Director Susan A. Sumbeling of NEDA MIMAROPA, in her opening remarks, highlighted the underlying principles that characterize the SCP, which include improving the quality of life without increasing environmental degradation; decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation by reducing material on energy intensity, and waste generation; and applying life-cycle thinking. She urged the participants to spread whatever they will learn from the forum and emphasized that everyone must work hand in hand – the government, the private sector, development partners, and the youth – in building an inclusive and sustainable future and in making this vision a reality.

Topics discussed during the forum include SCP, the Sustaonable Diner, and how to pursue a zero-waste lifestyle.

Mr. Emerson Kim J. Lineses, chief economic development specialist (EDS), NEDA MIMAROPA, provided the forum’s overview. He stressed about what can individual consumers and households do to contribute to SCP such as energy conservation and efficiency tips, water saving practices, and waste management strategies.

Ms. Melody Melo-Rijk of the World Wide Fund for Nature and Ms. Angelica D. Mata, founder of The Low Impact Filipina, served as resource persons during the forum. Rijk shared a shorter definition of the SCP which is “doing more and better with less.” Her topic focused on understanding the environmental impacts of food. Ms. Mata, on the other hand, shared how she started her advocacy on zero-waste lifestyle.

During the forum, Rijk also introduced the Balay Kawayan game, which is a restaurant simulation game where Filipino diners are issued a carbon footprint receipt after going through the entire virtual processes of ordering and dining in. The receipt issued featured dishes they had ordered and an explanation on their respective carbon footprint. The receipt served as an opportunity to provide in depth information on the importance of sustainable dining.

Mr. Roy Dimayuga, chief EDS, NEDA MIMAROPA, was the forum’s moderator where participants were able to ask questions on practical tips related to SCP.

In his closing remarks, Lineses emphasized the following to become a sustainable diner as shared by the resource persons: eat local and healthy food, stick to reusables, finish your food, save resources, and spread the word. He also highlighted the 5Rs of zero waste: refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, and rot. He encouraged the participants to share their learnings with their family and friends, and contribute to the implementation of SCP.