THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has once again been recognized by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) for promoting sustainability and sustainable development goals (SDGs) reporting in the Philippines.

“I would like to thank the organizers of International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR) Honours and accept this year’s award wholeheartedly with the hope that other jurisdictions will be inspired to immediately adopt or to continue to carry out fully their sustainable practices,” said SEC Chairperson Emilio Aquino during the recently-concluded ceremony at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

“The SEC Philippines has since been active in enforcing its sustainability guidelines with the UN SDGs at its core, partnering with key stakeholders and conducting several capacity building programs that build on sustainability as a way of life and as a way forward for a more sustainable future,” he added.

The Philippines bested 45 other organizations from other countries, sharing the spotlight with World Bank and International Finance Corporation, UN Global Compact, and World Economic Forum, which received the same award in the international category.

The ISAR Honours recognizes policy, institutional and capacity-building initiatives, publicly available at the national or international level, that encourage and assist enterprises to publish data on their contribution to SDG implementation and that assist governments in collecting such data for SDG monitoring needs.

While the Unctad recognized the workshops, trainings, seminars and partnerships organized by SEC “to increase awareness, advance knowledge, and build capacity in sustainability and SDG reporting in the Philippine corporate sector, following the issuance of the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines for Publicly Listed Companies (PLSc) through Memorandum Circular No. 4, Series of 2019.”

“The continuous provision of workshops and trainings on sustainability reporting is projected to result in higher number of sustainability reports submitted, and higher quality of sustainability-related disclosures thereby contributing to the achievement of the United Nations’ SDGs and other universal targets on sustainability,” the commission said in a statement.

At the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), SEC also launched virtual workshops and trainings, which gave participants “a wide latitude to interact with the resource persons.”

According to the commission, the number of companies reporting their social, governance, and environmental has increased from only around 22 percent of the total number of PLCs prior to 2019 to around 91 percent in 2020, and more than 95 percent in 2021.

In 2019, SEC also received ISAR Honours for promoting sustainability and SDG reporting by requiring PLCs to submit sustainability reports annually. (SunStar Philippines)