First of two parts
Panglao, Bohol—Public-private partnership would push the growth of green buildings in the Philippines.
In his opening address, Christopher de la Cruz, CEO of the Philippine Green Building Council (PHILGBC) said the collaboration between the two sectors is a sign that the stakeholders are quite aware of the importance of sustainable development in our lives. “We are thrilled to witness the overwhelming support and engagement from both the public and private sectors at the Building Green 2023 Conference. It is a testament to the growing commitment towards sustainable and resilient development in the Philippines,” said dela Cruz.
“Together, we can create innovative solutions and forge strong partnerships that will lead us towards a net-zero future through green building technologies,” dela Cruz added.
Green building champs in the Visayas
Bohol Vice Governor Dionisio Victor Balite and Mandaue Mayor Jonas Cortes of Mandaue City are strong advocates of sustainability and green buildings the Visayas.
In his address on the first session of the recently concluded Building Green 2023 Conference held in Modala Resort in Panglao, Balite emphasized Panglao’s commitment to strike a balance between development and the environment, opportunity and sustainability.
One of the innovative programs implemented in Panglao is the Centralized Sewage Treatment and Septage Management System. Through the Public-Private Cooperation and Initiative Agreement, Panglao was able to establish a centralized system for efficient wastewater management. While finalizing negotiations with the service provider through a public-private partnership (PPP), Panglao’s local government requires hotels, resorts, and other establishments to have their own wastewater treatment facilities. Furthermore, establishments are required to train pollution control officers to effectively manage these facilities.
“In line with coastal development, Panglao strictly adheres to the mandates under the Water Code of the Philippines. All construction projects along the coastline must observe a 20-meter setback from the highest sea tide,” Balite said.
Furthermore, the Comprehensive Land Use Plan of the municipality adds another 10 meters to provide ample pathways and convenience for beachgoers and strollers.
To maintain clear and accessible public spaces, the municipality passed an ordinance in 2019 to clear sidewalks, streets, parks, and other public areas of all illegal structures and obstructions. Panglao also implemented an ordinance in 2013, prohibiting the use and sale of plastic bags and containers as packaging materials. The municipality emphasizes the principles of reduce, reuse, recycle, and recovery in managing materials through regulations on businesses dealing with scrap iron, junk materials, and second-hand items. Hormachuelos stressed that Panglao’s commitment to environmental sustainability is reflected in the 2016 Municipal Environment Code, which establishes regulations and policies for protecting the environment.
Furthermore, the municipality is currently conducting public hearings for the crafting of the Bohol Panglao International Airport Safety Ordinance.
Mandaue City keeps on greening
Mayor Jonas C. Cortes of Mandaue City has been instrumental in advancing the green building movement in the city.
Cortes, the chief executive of the city since 2007, with a short stint as its Congressman from 2016 to 2019, always looked for ways to balance progress with sustainability. In 2013, he led the efforts to integrate sustainable practices in Mandaue City’s built environment.
Today, through his dedicated commitment and leadership, he continues to inspire the younger generation to champion the cause of building green.
During his speech at the Building Green 2023 Conference, Cortes highlighted the urgent need to address the challenges of the climate crisis and find sustainable solutions.
“As a densely populated, highly urbanized industrial city, Mandaue City was experiencing the effects of the urban heat island phenomenon due to its concrete jungle. This realization ignited the Mandaue movement towards building green.
Over the past decade, Mandaue City has created its own Green Building Ordinance, fully adopting the Philippine Green Building Council’s (PHILGBC) BERDE rating system.
To further support sustainability in the city, the Mandaue Green Building Board has been established, aiming to innovate, engage stakeholders, and create policies for building green.
The Office of the Building Official also transformed into the Green Building Office as part of their commitment to the cause.
To encourage developers to join the advocacy, Mandaue City offers incentives for BERDE-certified buildings beyond what is mandatory, such as additional floor area or tax rebates. through amendments to the green building ordinance, which were passed earlier this year. The city also incorporated its Green Building Ordinance into the City’s Landmark Environmental Code.
Several buildings in Mandaue City, including those in Mandani Bay has achieved BERDE certification, some even receiving a 5-star rating. The city walks the talk as its upcoming landmark government projects, the socialized low-rise housing project for 500 fire victims and the new government center, are targeted to be certified as BERDE buildings.
To ensure the knowledge and competency of personnel, Mandaue has trained and certified several employees as BERDE Professionals, with the support of PHILGBC. Currently, the city boasts 34 Certified Green Building Professionals and 6 consultants who are also CBPs. In fact, most members of the Green Building Board are Certified BERDE Professionals.
“We are thrilled to witness the overwhelming support and engagement from both the public and private sectors at the Building Green 2023 Conference. It is a testament to the growing commitment towards sustainable and resilient development in the Philippines.
Together, we can create innovative solutions and forge strong partnerships that will lead us towards a net-zero future through green building technologies,” dela Cruz pointed out.