The Cebu provincial board is considering the passage of an ordinance that promotes environment-friendly practices in building construction, operation and maintenance. It also provides incentives to the compliant stakeholders.
The legislation is entitled, “Province of Cebu Green Building Program and Promoting Green Building Practices in Private Development Projects.”
The provincial board (PB) committee on environment, headed by Thadeo Ouano, held a public hearing at the legislative session hall last October 4. Representatives from government agencies and private institutions attended the public hearing. The ordinance will then be submitted to the provincial board for approval on second reading.
Vice Governor Agnes Magpale said she was grateful by the presence of the representatives of the concerned agencies. She said they needed their knowledge on the subject to achieve a well-crafted ordinance.
Green Building practices mean “a whole system approach to the design, construction, and operation of Buildings and Structures that helps mitigate the environmental, economic, and social impacts…,” section four of the draft ordinance stated.
It further stated that it recognizes “the relationship between natural and built environments and seeks to minimize the use of energy, water, and other natural resources and provide a healthy, productive environment.”
The ordinance covers both project or buildings owned by public or private corporations.
For province-funded construction projects or those entered into by the province under Public-Private Partnership, the implementation of the ordinance is mandatory. For private building projects, implementation is voluntary.
However, in the public hearing chaired by Ouano, the stakeholders suggested that the compliance should be made voluntary or to itemize penalized acts in the legislation.
The group believes that the granting of tax incentives to the complying developer or agency be based on its assessed rate, provided that it complied with the required minimum standards set by laws.
There was also a suggestion for local government units to have its own local investment incentive code. They recommended the ordinance compliance office to devolve the office of the building officials of the respective municipalities and component cities to avoid further bureaucracy.
The idea to change the title of the ordinance to a “Green Building Code,” was also discussed. (Xerxes Alkuino)