We, the undersigned, are members of the Bank of the Philippine Islands’ (BPI) family of employees. Amid increasingly difficult economic conditions in our country and heightened environmental and climate concerns, we take pride in the continued effort of the Bank to support its employees and challenge itself towards promoting sustainable development in our country.
Responding to the growing calls for our country and the world to move away from dirty energy, and in line with its corporate values of concern for the people and integrity, BPI had been among the first Philippine banks to declare its hopes of ending its involvement in financing coal projects in 2021. We are glad that BPI sought to listen to its employees who, in 2020, had also issued a manifesto asking that the bank move forward with its plans to reduce the support it is channeling to coal.
We understand that coal is recognized as the dirtiest fossil fuel, and is one of the biggest causes of suffering for many communities in our country that are host to coal power plants and other projects, or who are impacted by the terrible disasters that come to the Philippines year in and out due to the changing climate.
It thus pains those of us in BPI’s family of employees, who know how seriously BPI takes its ambitions for sustainability and its core values, that BPI is branded as the dirtiest bank by advocacy groups due to its linkages to coal-fired power projects and companies developing them. BPI is now also being linked to another fossil fuel, natural gas, which is facing increasing opposition because of the threats it poses to communities and our country’s rich natural resources. Both coal and gas poison our atmosphere and vulnerable peoples through every stage of their life cycle – from their extraction, transport, and burning for power – and we are sad to see BPI branded as complicit to their continued proliferation. Coal and gas also contribute to the suffering of Filipinos across the country by causing our electricity bills to skyrocket due to their unstable prices.
We know that our Bank is more than capable of truly advancing sustainability, contributing to the best interests of vulnerable communities, and leading in paving the way for the transition to clean energy among its fellow final institutions. With the strong understanding that neither coal nor gas can have a role to play in a sustainable future, we ask BPI to take on even more ambitious commitments to more urgently end its involvement in coal and gas, and to move towards an energy portfolio that supports the move to 100% renewable energy in the Philippines.
On the occasion of the 2023 Annual Stockholders Meeting, we enjoin the Board of Directors, stockholders, and management of our Bank to once again bear proof of its care for the environment and the welfare of Filipinos, and to move forward in abandoning coal, gas, and all fossil fuels.