Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Building Green: An LGU Imperative (Makati City)

Green Building Imperative: An LGU Forum

Vice-Pres. Jejomar C. Binay
The Building Green: An LGU Imperative, a one-day forum held on April 23 at the Molave Room of the Dusit Thani Hotel, was conducted in collaboration with the Climate Change Commission, under the Office of the President, and the International Finance Corp., the private sector investment arm of the World Bank Group.  

Together, they intend to reduce, by 20% a year, the greenhouse-gas emissions of new buildings in the Philippines.  The forum gathered nearly 100 attendees - mayors, building officials, architects, engineers and representatives cause-oriented groups fervently involved in Green Building.  

Sen. Loren B. Legarda
Green building, one of the most important steps that the country must undertake in adapting to climate change and mitigating climate risk, is the practice of adopting sustainable features and measures in the design, construction, operation and management of a structure.  

It significantly improves energy, water, materials and resource efficiency and also reduces the building’s impact on human health and the environment. 
Hans C. Shrader
The IFC, with its global technical expertise, is also supporting the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in updating the National Building Code by conducting technical studies which will set the minimum green features required for new buildings, save energy and water resources, and support cost-efficient operations. 

Mr. Hans C. Shrader, the IFC's Senior Program Manager, delivered the welcome remarks while former senator and now Climate Change Commissioner (CCC) Heherson T. Alvarez delivered a message from Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III who hopes that Green Buildings will gain widespread acceptance among developers and become major players in this trade so, together, they can become agents of positive change, leading the world, not only in building an advanced, more progressive society, but also a world we can bequeath with pride to future generations.  Experts have identified the Philippines as the third among countries most vulnerable to climate change.
CCC Commissioner Heherson Alvarez
Keynote speaker was former Makati City mayor and now Vice-Pres.  and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) chairman Jejomar C. Binay who called on local government units (LGUs) to make conscientious decisions that will help reduce our country’s carbon emissions. 

He also proposed that the IFC, Philippine Green Building Initiative (PGBI), the CCC and the DPWH work with the University of Makati in developing a seminar format for a “green” building code for newly elected local executives and newly and well-funded universities in the Philippines.
Autif Mohammed Sayyed

Engr. Laurentino Punsalan, the Chairman of the Philippine Green Building Initiative (PGBI), introduced Sen. Loren B. Legarda, the plenary speaker, who delivered a speech on the Green and Resilient Building: Emerging Need  for Sustainable Growth. 

Legarda, an environmentalist and the chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, called on concerned government agencies to ensure that the comprehensive land use plans (CLUPs) of local government units are being enforced.

Other speakers were Dir. Estrella T. Villar (Developing a Green Building Referral Code) of the Dept. of Public Works and Highways (DPWH); Mr. Art Habilan (Energy Efficient Buildings) of the Dept. of Energy (DOE); Atty. Roy Reyes (Green Building Legislative Agenda: SB 1928/410/2133) of the Office of Sen. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.; and Mr. Autif Mohammed Sayyed, the Regional Green Building specialist of the IFC for the East Asia Pacific Region, who provided technical support to Green Building regulations.

Discussing Green Building Ordinances of their respective cities were Engr. Armand Comandao (Mandaluyong City which, with IFC’s support, passed a green building ordinance that provides incentives such as tax discounts on machinery and building improvements); Atty. Violeta S. Seva (Makati City) and Ms. Frediswinda de Guzman (Quezon City).  A workshop to identify issues and challenges in adopting a Green Building ordinance, facilitated by Mr. Resi Marinas and Ms. Tess Lacerna, was also conducted.   

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