THE PHILIPPINES needs to better exploit its nickel resources to advance its transition to green industries, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said.

“The Philippines could also leverage its favorable position in the green metals industry regarding the green transition. The country is a top supplier of nickel, which is integral in manufacturing electric vehicle batteries,” he said in a pre-recorded speech at a Philippine Institute for Development Studies conference.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau reported that metal output grew 8.06% by value in the first half.

Nickel ore and nickel byproducts generated P57.32 billion, accounting for almost half or 46.57% of the industry’s total.

The Philippines “is also one of the top cobalt producers in the world and possesses a steady supply of copper,” he added.

In the first half, copper output rose 6% to 133,072 dry metric tons.

Mr. Balisacan said going green and digital will be an “integral strategy” for the economy.

“The challenge now lies in simultaneously harnessing the green transition and digitalization for sustainable development. This process, called ‘twin transition’ or ‘dual transformation,’ entails the integration of digital technologies and the adoption of green processes for sustainability,” Mr. Balisacan said.

Between 1990 and 2018, global greenhouse gas emissions more than doubled in the Asia-Pacific region, he said.

“Digitalization and a green transition are interconnected because digitalization plays a significant role in accelerating such a transition and mitigating the effects of climate change,” he added.

Citing the World Economic Forum, digital solutions could “reduce global emissions by 20 percent by 2050.”

Mr. Balisacan said that the digital economy has “contributed significantly to the country’s income in the last five years.”

The digital economy’s gross value added was about 9 to 10% of gross domestic product.

“The sector is also an important source of jobs for Filipinos, constituting around 12-13% of the country’s workforce,” he said.

“Digitally deliverable services accounted for 77.8% of the country’s services exports and 54% of services imports in 2021,” he added. 

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