Sustainability and Gender Equality Spotlighted at 10th SEC-PSE Corporate Governance Forum

January 5, 2024


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Philippines, through the Government of Canada-funded project Accelerating Green and Climate Finance in the Philippines: Nature-based Solutions, supported the 10th Annual Securities and Exchange Commission-Philippine Stock Exchange (SEC-PSE) Corporate Governance Forum. The event marks a significant stride in advancing corporate governance and sustainability standards within the Philippines.   

The forum served as a platform for fostering engaging conversations among regulatory authorities, key stakeholders, and experts, aiming to propel the nation's corporate governance and sustainability regulations. This year, the focus has been on integrating global sustainability reporting frameworks within the Philippine context. 

A highlight of the event was the insightful sessions featuring esteemed panelists including UNDP’s Global Lead for Impact Venture Accelerators and Senior Advisor on Equity Financing and Funds, Artak Melkonyan, and Head of Capacity Building and Regulatory Engagement of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), Thomas Viegas.  

Viegas emphasized the growing significance of nature-related issues as core strategic risk management concerns alongside climate change. He explained that nature-related issues are no longer just a corporate social responsibility issue, but a core and strategic risk management issue alongside climate change.  He introduced the TNFD framework, urging organizations to disclose nature-related risks and opportunities in a standardized manner, paralleling the success of climate-related disclosures (TCFD). Meanwhile, Melkonyan provided invaluable insights into investment approaches integrating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. His session elucidated the differences between socially responsible investing (SRI), ESG investing, and impact investing, and underlined the pivotal role of transparency and reporting in ESG investment strategies. 

As part of the Forum, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Edwine Carrie delivered an inspiring address for the 2023 SEC Gender and Development (GAD) Awards. Carrie recognized the instrumental role of the private sector in propelling sustainability efforts, noting how fostering gender equality and diversity within corporate structures bolsters their strides toward sustainability adding that companies with a higher representation of women in management roles are more inclined to pursue sustainable initiatives. He also commended the SEC for its commendable initiative, reiterating UNDP's unwavering commitment as a staunch advocate for women's rights and gender equality and as a strategic partner of the private sector in creating long-term growth that benefits everyone. 

Furthermore, the UNDP, through the Canada-funded Project, is also actively working with the SEC in the updating of the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. This joint effort prioritizes the seamless integration of essential gender and climate finance data components into the reporting framework. The goal is to facilitate the issuance and successful implementation of these updated guidelines, ensuring a more comprehensive and impactful approach to reporting.  

The 10th Annual SEC-PSE Corporate Governance Forum stands as a testament to collaborative efforts aimed at fostering gender equality, sustainability, and inclusive corporate practices in the country.