Green infrastructure incentives in Baguio proposed

BAGUIO CITY February 05 – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance requiring the design, construction, or retrofitting of buildings and other structures to meet minimum standards of a 'green infrastructure' in the city, providing incentives and for other purposes.

The ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated it will be a declared policy of the local government to establish and maintain building standards that require the planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance, including the retrofitting of building projects that is dedicated to fostering positive change and public attitude towards environmental issues; emphasize that land conservation, urban planning and development should include 'green infrastructure' as key planning framework to understand the necessity of preserving a healthy environment to allow future generations to reach prosperity; require the planning and integration of 'green spaces' and installation of available and cost efficient technologies prior to any infrastructure development; create and maintain a network of 'green spaces and integrate them in the whole gamut of infrastructure projects and developments; increase the demand for environmentally preferable building materials, finishing and furnishings; emphasize that a participatory approach is necessary to ensure buy-in by all stakeholders, including businesses, government and the public in general; provide measures for the protection of ground water on all vertical structures; provide incentives for land users, developers and planners who incorporate, implement, install and actually use environment-friendly technologies that promote a strong biodiversity, improve the state of health of the population and abate the continuing destruction of the ecosystem, ground water and air quality and identify all problems and solutions that come in the way of applying 'green building' standards and the continuity of application.

The ordinance stipulated that all vertical structures whether or not used for commercial, industrial, institutional or residential use are mandated to apply and implement the policies provided under the proposed local legislative measure, including the provision for mechanisms that shall reduce 'greenhouse' gas emissions, including waste water treatment.

In the case of proposed and new structures, Yangot explained that an applicant must apply with the City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO), City Planning Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) and City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) for preliminary certification if the applicant will be the owner or contact purchaser of the facility at the time of construction, in writing, on a form prepared and provided for and shall contain a statement that the applicant plans to construct a facility that will meet the prescribed requirements; a detailed description of the proposed facility and its operation and information showing that the facility will operate as represented in the application; the estimated start and completion dates of the construction of the facility and any other information determined by the offices to be necessary prior to the issuance of an initial certificate.

The ordinance added the CBAO may order the revocation of the final certificate it issued upon the recommendation of the CEPMO or CPDO, if the City Building Official finds that the certification was obtained by fraud or misrepresentation and the holder of the certificate has substantially failed to construct or complete the facility in compliance with the submitted plans, specifications, and procedures in such certificate. By Dexter A. See

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