Support from policymakers will go a long way toward making green building mandatory in the Philippines as the country breaches records in energy consumption.
Measures on sustainable building practices are being instituted by the Philippine government at national and provincial levels, although there are obvious areas for improvement, noted experts gathered Friday for the “Green Cities in the Making” seminar in Manila.
The Philippines is "on the road” to becoming "green and smart," according to Eduardo A. Manahan, chairman of the Building Owners and Managers Association of the Philippines, per Business World. “We have a law pending in congress about green building, and we are also in the process of approving the revision of the National Building Code.”
Around 36 percent of the Philippines' power consumption stems from building use, according to the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Electricity consumption in buildings across the archipelago accounts for 25 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions.
The Philippines has the highest per kilowatt-hour (kWh) rate in all of Asia, Liza Morales-Crespo, design director at Liza Crespo Ecotecture, told attendees at the seminar. “Going green is not really just joining the bandwagon, but actually, it becomes more of a necessity for this country.”
Yet the Philippine government is a laggard when it comes to offering incentives for green buildings, Morales-Crespo added. "Hopefully, that’s something that could be worked on by the current administration. That would give us the necessary push to really go at it."
Local government units are taking the plunge in terms of green building construction. In the province of Pampanga, the Bureau of Internal Revenue is now being housed in green buildings, a first for the Filipino tax authority. Inaugurated in March, the PHP647-million (USD12 million) building complex features solar panels with 400 kilowatts of generating power, SunStar reported.
In partnership with the Department of Public Works and Highways, the IFC is establishing the Philippines’ first green building code. It aims to reduce the country's greenhouse gas emissions by 1.87 million metric tons and decrease energy consumption by 3.9 million kWh.
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