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BERDE WORKING PAPER SERIES

OCCUPATIONAL AND SKILLS NEEDS IN THE


GREEN BUILDING SECTOR IN THE PHILIPPINES

Christopher Cruz de la Cruz

Working Paper 2011-003

PHILIPPINE GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL


BERDE TECHNICAL WORKING GROUP
The Net One Center, 26th Street corner 3rd Avenue, Crescent Park West,
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

March 2011

The BERDE Working Paper Series (BERDE-WPS) are preliminary findings on ongoing research
related to the development of the BERDE Green Building Rating System. BERDE-WPS is released by
the Philippine Green Building Council (PHILGBC) to stimulate discussion, elicit feedback and promote
collaborative research among the members of the PHILGBC.

Comments, suggestions and/or inquiries regarding this paper may be sent directly to the author. To
contribute articles to the working paper series please send your inquiries to berde@philgbc.org. The
views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and not necessarily reflect the views of the
Philippine Green Building Council.

© The Author 2011. Published by the Philippine Green Building Council. All rights reserved. For
permissions, please email: berde@philgbc.org.

Short sections of text may be quoted without explicit permission provided that full credit, including ©
notice, is given to the source.

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OCCUPATIONAL AND SKILLS NEEDS IN THE
GREEN BUILDING SECTOR IN THE PHILIPPINES
*
Christopher Cruz de la Cruz

March 2011

1 Executive Summary

The world’s rapid transition into a global economy has resulted into a remarkable
increase on construction activities. The world’s finite natural resources are fast depleting and
leading scientists worldwide are sounding a plethora of environmental issues largely related to
climate change. This condition is largely felt in a highly vulnerable developing country like the
Philippines. Air, land and water pollution, rapid population growth, along with climate change
remains a challenge. There is a mounting solid waste management problem in the country’s city
centers, an impending national energy crisis, and rapid depletion of water resources. Further,
significant economic loss is experienced, (Calonzo 2009; Evangelista 2009; GMA News 2009)
brought about by typhoons Ondoy (Ketsana) and Pepeng (Pharma). Furthermore, virtually all of
Philippine reefs are vulnerable to destructive fishing techniques, reef mining, sedimentation and
marine pollution (IPCC 2001).

Striking a balance between economic growth and environmental protection and


conservation is a difficult issue that developing economies like the Philippines is facing. Among
provinces and districts in Southeast Asia, Metro Manila is the 7th most vulnerable to the negative
impacts of climate change (Andraneda, 2009).

There is a clear and present funding triage experienced by government - a dilemma of


prioritizing among a list of concerns such as: (1) funding basic needs (healthcare, education,

*
Christopher Cruz de la Cruz is the Chairman and President of the Philippine Green Building Council. Author may be contacted
by email at ccdelacruz@philgbc.org. The Case Study on Occupational and Skill Needs in the Green Building Sector was funded
by the International Labour Organization under External Collaboration Contract No. 40070714/0. The author would like to
acknowledge the invaluable assistance of Chester de la Cruz and Anna Tungol of the Philippine Green Building Council in the
general coordination and administration of the study and the respondents representing the academe, employers and associations
for their expertise and insight shared during the conduct of the study.

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public housing, poverty alleviation); (2) funding activities that promote economic growth and an
environment that will stimulate job creation to support a growing population; and (3) providing
funds that will allow the country to adapt to the negative impacts of climate change. Further, as
urban centers expand, the demand for more energy, waste and water facilities continuously
confront the public sector’s decision makers with the challenge of raising funds for more
infrastructure projects.

Green building1 has the highest potential to address the above-mentioned issues (Huovila
2009). Energy technologies are now available that are appropriate and economically viable.
However, the uptake of green building is continually challenged by (1) high up-front costs for
more efficient equipment, (2) lack of access to financing, (3) absence of energy subsidies, and
(4) lack of full understanding of the environmental, health and other external costs (Koeppel and
Ürge-Vorsatz 2007).

A green building industry supported by a strong public energy efficiency program


facilitates the creation of additional “negawatts”2 that effectively delay the need to construct a
new power plant. Efficient solid waste management in buildings, during both construction and
operation, will delay, if not lessen, the demand for the creation of new landfills. Government’s
support to widespread promotion of green building has the potential to free up public funds that
allow the creation of financial mechanisms that may support other national priorities such as
public education, healthcare, and poverty alleviation that will facilitate and hasten economic
growth.

It is understood that the private and public sectors around the world are realizing that
ensuring a sustained economic growth largely depends on producing less carbon and more jobs
(Asia Business Council n.d.). The Philippine Institute of Labor Studies (ILS) (Cruz 2009, cited
in Finkel 2010) defines green jobs “as jobs that contribute to a climate solution.” Green
building has the most potential to aid in the creation of green jobs. The construction industry

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Green building is the act of designing, constructing, and operating buildings, ensuring that it will be environmentally
responsible by utilizing the least amount of resources, and ensure occupant health and safety throughout its lifecycle.
2
Negawatts simply refer to the creation of additional power via energy conservation.

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presently plays host to wide array of jobs such as (1) unskilled labor, (2) skilled labor (e.g.
carpenters, electrician, plumbers, etc.), (3) building professionals (e.g. architects, engineers,
project managers, building managers), (4) manufacturing professionals (e.g. material specialists,
fabricators, etc.) (6) business-oriented professionals (e.g. finance, banking, etc.), (7) certification
specialists (e.g. certification consultants, assessors).

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is undertaking this study, specific to the
green building sector to facilitate knowledge sharing in the early identification of skill needs.
Further, this case study seeks to identify jobs required and trainings to be developed to support
and sustain the current shift to green building.

2 Green Building in the Philippines

Several sectoral organizations are now addressing the need to respond to the negative
impacts of climate change by developing advocacy and education efforts specifically designed to
increase awareness in the property sector. The government regularly consults with these sectors
to identify priority needs. Partnerships are created to facilitate the development of policy that
supports industry based climate solutions. Joint programs are developed by environmental
organizations to ensure coordinated efforts in solving the climate crisis. High energy cost,
climate change and global warming are seen as the primary drivers that will increase the uptake
of green building in the Philippines.

According to the Smart Market Report by the World Green Building Council (n.d.) “The
fastest growing regional green building market is Asia, where the population of firms largely
dedicated to green building is expected to jump from 36% today to 73% in 2013.” In the
Philippines, there is strong indication that green building will be the standard way of doing
business in the property sector. There will be continuous demand for more green building
products and services and skills to support positive growth.

In the Philippines, building owners gets to improve their bottom-line by looking at green
buildings as part of their core strategy. Green buildings may have higher initial costs; however,
building owners recoup their investments due to efficient operations. According to Rigoberto

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Santos (2011), Vice President of Megaworld Corporation, "The green initiative, in whatever
form or fashion it takes does have a direct impact in the operations."

With the positive growth in green building present in the country, there will be increased
need for training in the following areas: (1) utilization of green building technologies for
building professionals; (2) effective environmental communication for marketing professionals;
(3) crafting of effective green building policy for legislators; (4) skills upgrade for construction
workers; (5) green building certification (particularly BERDE).

Lack of appropriate training response may however, lead to displacement of workers due
to lack of skills for green building. This scenario has the potential to hinder economic
development.

2.1 Professional Organizations

The Guidelines on Energy Conserving Design on Buildings (2007) and the Manual of
Practice on Efficient Lighting (2007) was developed by the Department of Energy (DOE) with
major contributions from the Institute of Integrated Electrical Engineers (IIEE), the government-
accredited professional organization of electrical practitioners. The aforementioned publications
seek to facilitate the dissemination of information on proper design that promotes energy
conservation on buildings.

The Philippine Constructors Association of the Philippines – Metropolitan Chapter


(PCA-Metro) is now pushing forward with their advocacy campaign on contractor licensing.
“There is a high percentage of unlicensed contractors in the market,” according to Atty. Bertie
Squire (2011), board adviser of PCA-Metro. Recent events (Aning 2011) have highlighted the
need to ensure that contractors are licensed. Atty. Squire personally believes that “occupational
health and safety is ensured if contractors are licensed.”

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The Philippine Green Building Initiative (PGBI)3 was formed in the first quarter of 2010
as a professional group that promotes sustainability in the built environment. It is composed of
professional associations accredited by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC). Among
its member organizations are the United Architects of the Philippines, Philippine Society of
Ventilating, Air-Conditioning and Refrigerating Engineers (PSVARE), Philippine Chapter of the
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE),
Integrated Electrical Engineers of the Philippines (IIEE), Geological Society of the Philippines,
Philippine Institute of Interior Designers (PIID), Heritage Conservation Society (HCS), and the
International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). The PGBI aims to (1) To provide an
objective non-partisan approach to the study and assessment of buildings and communities
incorporating internationally recognized best practices in building design, construction,
performance and energy efficiency; (2) To promote environmental responsibility and cultural
responsiveness in order to be locally responsible and globally relevant; (3) To write and adopt
design and construction standards to guide the built environment in its efforts to promote
sustainability.

There are presently two organizations focusing on the promotion of green architecture in
the Philippines. The United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) initiated the Green Architecture
Committee under the term of UAP National President Prosperidad Luis, FUAP in 2000.
Presently called the Green Architecture Movement (UAP-GAM), it continues to be one of the
major committees of the UAP whose mission is to educate architects in the Philippines on
facilitating the application of green design principles in the practice of architecture. Similarly,
and expanding on the call to green the built environment through various education and
advocacy efforts, the Green Architecture Advocacy Philippines (GreenAP) was incorporated in
August 2009 and is presently led by its co-founder and chairman Arch. Ega Reformado.
GreenAP represents various building professionals advocating green architecture and presently

3
The PGBI is in the initial stages of organization. Literature regarding this organization is lacking. For more information please
refer to International Institute for Energy Conservation - Asia, 2010. Comparison Among Two Green Building Movements in the
Philippines, A Report on Side-by-Side Developments of Green Building Rating Systems by the Philippine Green Building
Initiative (PGBCI) and the Philippine Green Council (PHILGBC).

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has about 80 members (Reformado, E. 2011, pers. comm. January). GreenAP is a self-governing
organization, independent of the UAP.

The Solid Waste Management Association of the Philippines (SWAPP) is a non-profit


membership organization composed of solid waste practitioners from local government units,
national government agencies, non-government organizations, and the academe. Recognizing
the role of proper solid waste management in the promotion of greener buildings, SWAPP was
very instrumental in convening the Philippine Green Building Council (PHILGBC).

2.2 Industry-based Organizations

The PHILGBC is an industry-led coalition of more than 250 leading companies in the
property sector and 11 alliance partnerships with government, trade associations, academe and
government (Tungol, M.A. 2010, pers. comm. December). The PHILGBC seeks to transform
the way the property sector design, builds and operates buildings in the Philippines. The
organization is under the auspices of the WGBC, an international organization of more than 80
green building councils.

The Philippine Business for the Environment (2008) has, as part of its Corporate Training
Series, a training/seminar on Environment Leadership and Workforce Motivation. Its topics
include sustainable development, environmental leadership and stewardship, mainstreaming of
sustainable development in enterprises and linking corporate environmental strategies with
business functions. Highlighting management’s role in communicating environmental issues
within the organization, this training has the potential to facilitate the transition of white-collar
jobs to green-collar jobs.

2.3 Current Green Building Activities in Industry

Current green building activities are focused on existing commercial and office
buildings. Most of the technologies are being implemented on a pilot basis to experience
firsthand the efficiency and performance of various green building strategies. Energy
consumption associated with building cooling is considered a priority that needs to be addressed

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in most building retrofits. According to Calupe (2011), the Ayala Corporation is presently
utilizing in Serendra, Glorietta, and Greenbelt Ayala Malls ice thermal airconditioning systems.
Santos (2011) shared that the Megaworld Corporation has now in place solar collection facilities
on some of their buildings, allowing them to benchmark their data and/or gather empirical data
that will allow them to have more informed decision in succeeding projects. Megaworld is now
developing a green building program for McKinley Hill to take advantage of the benefits of
green. Arabejo (2011), expressed that “A green building, if properly designed, will not cost
more.” Believing that going for passive strategies is key in new buildings he added that
“…designing with the elements maximizes the potential of passive green strategies that will not
add cost to a project yet save more money in operation cost." Ecotektonika, Inc. at present is
designing the Nuvali Eco Center. It will incorporate passive design strategies that include: (1)
proper building orientation, (2) study of solar orientation, and (3) analysis of rainfall and wind
data, to maximize its potential to be harnessed for use in building design, to increase human
comfort and maximize economic returns.

Water efficiency strategies are starting to become popular in buildings. There projects
that are starting to utilize rainwater collection, and double/triple piping systems are also
becoming popular. Better effluent management is also currently undertaken with reed bed
systems.

Net Lima, a green building project by the NET Group is scheduled to be finished by the
end of 2011. It features double glazed curtain walls, utilizing low-e glass (Rufino 2011, pers.
comm. January). Sun shielding systems are also being employed to reduce glare and to further
manage solar gain. Net Lima shall be utilizing the BERDE Green Building Rating System for
New Construction.

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Green Building Feature Description
Cooling  Replacement of CFC based refrigerants;
 Use of several compressors – to reduce peak demand charges and lower energy
consumption associated with cooling;
 Variable speed drives;
 Variable refrigerant flow system;
 Ice thermal airconditioning systems;
 Shadow effect – orienting buildings to take advantage of shadows to reduce
heat gain in buildings.
Elevators Optimized operation by zoning
Pumps Better regulation of speed
Lighting  Motion detection,
 LED Lighting,
 Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL),
 Soft starters.
Building Envelope  Sun Shields;
 Low-e glazing.
Renewable energy  Solar collection
Passive strategies used in  Study of solar path;
design  Study of wind and rainfall data;
 Proper building orientation;
 Natural lighting;
 Natural ventilation.
Water  Double/triple Piping;
 Reed bed systems.

Table 2-1 Common green building features in commercial buildings. (Calupe 2011, pers. comm. March) (Santos 2011)
(Arabejo 2011, pers. comm. March) (Rufino 2011, pers. comm. January).

2.4 Green Building Related Programs

The BERDE (Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence) Program was
established by the PHILGBC to develop market-based tools that will facilitate green building in
the property sector. The first green building rating system in the Philippines, BERDE for New
Construction (BERDE-NC) was released last November 17, 2010 to support local projects
seeking green building certification. Currently, the council is developing a program for the
certification of BERDE consultants and assessors to ensure that the certification process will be
delivered with the highest standards of quality. Further, to strengthen this program the council is
establishing the BERDE National Research Agenda on Green Building (BERDE-NRA), a
program that will provide the property industry insight and informed choices on green building
services, technology, knowledge and tools. Furthermore, specific research will be conducted
under this program to support the development of BERDE. These programs were undertaken to
allow industry to move forward with the Philippines’ growing interest in the green agenda.

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In the past five (5) years, the absence of a green building certification system in the
Philippines has led industry players to utilize LEED, a green building rating system developed
by the US Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED is a third-party verification and
measurement system that certifies a project’s green credentials (GBCI 2011). At present, the
Philippines have 20 projects registered and 4 certified under the LEED rating system.

Project Location Type Rating


Nuvali One Evotech Sta. Rosa City, Laguna LEED CS 2.0 Silver
Shell Shared Services Centre – Manila Manila LEED CI 2.0 Silver
Texas Instruments Philippines Baguio Baguio City LEED NC 2.2 Silver
Texas Instruments Philippines Clark Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga LEED NC 2.2 Gold

Table 2-2 List of LEED Certified Projects in the Philippines. (USGBC 2011)

LEED has been used for the past five years in the Philippines. Its adaption in the
Philippines has been remarkably slow – moving compared to other countries. According to
BERDE Technical Editor, Pablo Suarez, LEED AP (2011), there are several issues and
challenges faced by project owners regarding LEED Certification. He took special note of the
following: (1) “Most laws referred to in LEED refer to US laws and regulations.” (2) “Product
certification recognized by LEED refers to US Standards. For example – paints, cleaning
products, and equipment.” (3) “Alternative products which are possibly compliant need proof,
which local manufacturers have difficulty providing.” (4) “Technical support for LEED is costly
and due to time zone differences, is a challenge.” (5) “No on-site assessment conducted and
depends largely on project documentation submitted.” (6) “For international projects
(Philippines), documents submitted have to undergo more stringent scrutiny.”

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Project Location Type
ADGT Building 3 Cavite LEED-NC v2009
Aegis People Support Center – Cebu Cebu City LEED NC 2.2
Alphaland Makati Place Makati City LEED-NC v2009
Alphaland Makati Tower Makati City LEED-CS v2009
Arya Residences Taguig LEED NC 2.2
Asian Development Bank Headquarters Mandaluyong LEED-EB:OM v2009
Centennial Hotel Baguio Baguio City LEED-NC v2009
Emerson Manila Taguig City LEED-NC v2009
Green Power Nueva Ecija Philippines Inc. Nueva Ecija LEED CI 2.0
Green Power Panay Philippines Inc Iloilo LEED NC 2.2
MCC Office Building Quezon City LEED-CS v2009
MPOC Expansion Project Gen Trias, Cavite LEED-NC v2009
NUVALI Visitors Center Sta. Rosa City LEED NC 2.2
One Campus Place Fort Bonifacio Taguig City LEED NC 2.2
Shangri-La at the Fort, Manila Mandaluyong LEED NC 2.2
Sun Life Financial Philippine HQ Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City LEED CS 2.0
Sun Life Philippines Interiors Taguig City LEED-CI v2009
The Mind Museum Taguig City LEED NC 2.2
The Office Pasay City LEED-CS v2009
United Doctors of St Camillus Hospital Batangas City LEED-HC v2009

Table 2-3 List of LEED Registered Projects in the Philippines. (USGBC 2011)

The absence of credible third party green building certification programs in the past has
led to confusion in the marketplace. Recognizing that the Philippines is steadily maturing into a
greener market, technology and service providers and building projects are beginning to claim
green credentials. The public is challenged in identifying projects that are accurately green and
its level of environmental performance. The development of a specific metric that allow industry
to measure environmental performance that is harmonized with local practices and addresses
local environmental priorities also is lacking.

The BERDE Program of the PHILGBC was developed to specifically address this. The
PHILGBC, as an industry-led organization, considers market development for green buildings a
major priority. The council believes that a locally developed green building rating system will
facilitate market development.

To support this undertaking, BERDE was developed as the Philippines’ green building
rating system, to address environmental issues and challenges in the property sector, in line with
national priorities and context. This program was developed as part of the outcomes of a

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roundtable discussion conducted last November 28, 2007. A multi-stakeholder base was
assembled representing the academe, professional associations, government, civil society groups
and trade groups. They were consulted by the council to find ways on how to collaborate and
facilitate green building in industry via BERDE. “The initial uptake of BERDE will be driven by
large developers. It is expected that small and medium sized industry players will soon follow.
Government will soon pursue green building by developing more stringent standards, policy and
hopefully provide tax breaks” according to Michael Reyes (2011), former President of
CECOPHIL and Chairman of the BERDE Management Committee.

In a local government effort, it must be noted that Item B.2.3, Annex B of the
Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Quezon City Green Building Rating System,
building projects procuring the services of BERDE Professionals are entitled to receive
additional points that will help the project owner get green building tax credits.

TUV Rheinland Philippines has been appointed by the PHILGBC to be the certification
body that will facilitate the BERDE Certification Process. TUV Rheinland is an organization
accredited by the Philippine Accreditation Office (PAO) operating under the Department of
Trade and Industry (DTI-PAO). The BERDE Certification Process is delivered in line with
ISO/IEC 17021. “The challenge in the near term is to ensure the viability of the BERDE
Certification Process is the assurance that there will be enough qualified and competent BERDE
Professionals and Assessors in the market”, according to Mr. Tristan Loveres (2011), COO of
TUV Rheinland Philippines. The development of BERDE requires a new breed of building
professionals trained in the areas of energy management, water management, pollution control,
quality assurance, and certification. There is a positive outlook in terms of increased public
awareness for the need to build responsibly. Filling the skill gap to deliver the needed services is
critical to ensure delivery of BERDE in the property sector.4

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According to Luna (2011), "In terms of opportunities, what's good about it is there is an increasing public awareness about the
necessity to build responsibly and to develop with a sustainable mindset. So there is that public push. You see that globally and
in many facets of our Philippine society now."

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The Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development,
Inc. (PCEPSDI) is an affiliate organization of the Development Academy of the Philippines
(DAP) and operates under the auspices of the Department of Trade and Industry and the
Department of Environment and Natural Resources. PCEPSDI, is the official administrator of the
National Ecolabelling Programme – Green Choice Philippines (NELP-GCP). GCP is based on
ISO 14024 and is voluntary, multiple criteria-based third party program. The program promotes
clean manufacturing and sustainable consumption, and designed to be harmonized with
applicable Philippine laws and standards. “Construction materials are a priority in the
development of standards. Primarily, the program (Green Choice) believes that there is a huge
gain in the industry the moment it aligns with sustainable development,” according to June
Alvarez (2011), executive director, PCEPSDI. Recognizing the potential synergies that may be
created between PHILGBC-BERDE and Green Choice, the two organizations signed a
Memorandum of Mutual Cooperation that signifies its commitment to work together to promote
sustainability in the property sector.

The PHILGBC and PBE - two of the largest corporate environmental organizations - are
engaged in a partnership under the Climate Initiative to promote urban greening. The strategy
undertaken in this collaboration was to provide a platform for dialogue for industry and
consumers to facilitate the uptake of cool roofs. A cool roof reflects the sun’s heat and emits
absorbed radiation back into the atmosphere. This allows the roof to stay cooler and this
significantly reduces the amount of heat transferred/radiated into the adjacent space below.
These results to a lesser cooling load, thereby allowing the building owner save on energy
(CRRC 2011). The core idea of this project is to enable the consumers understand the benefits of
installing cool roofs. Engaged in this program are technology providers, real estate developers,
homeowner associations, and building professionals. In a tropical country like the Philippines,
increased consumer education on the benefits of cool roofs will increase demand for this
technology. This program ensures that buyers are informed on the availability of cool roof
technologies in the market. (Antonio, L. 2010, pers. comm. December)

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2.5 Policy Development

2.5.1 National Building Code

According to Hong and Chiang (n.d.) 20-30 percent of Asia’s energy consumption is
attributed to the building sector. Flourishing economic and social activity coupled with increased
population and urbanization drives Asia’s vibrant construction market. The demand for more
energy for cooling, heating, lighting and energizing appliances continues to climb. To abate this
demand, more rigid building codes are deemed essential.

9000
Brunei Darussalam
8000
Cambodia
7000
6000 Indonesia
5000 Malaysia
4000 Myanmar
3000
Philippines
2000
Singapore
1000
0 Thailand
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Vietnam

Chart 2-1 Energy use in the ASEAN (kg of oil equivalent per capita)5 (World Bank 2011)

The Philippines has enacted the National Building Code in 1972 and amended it via
Presidential Decree in 1977 in recognition to the need to “safeguard life, health, property, and
public welfare, consistent with the principles of sound environmental management and control”.
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Presently, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is responsible in
“formulating policies, plans, standards and guidelines on building design, construction, use
occupancy and maintenance in accordance with the code.” Several government agencies and
departments7 are contributing to the upgrade of the building codes by regularly issuing

5
Energy figures for LAO PDR not available.
6
As stipulated in Presidential Decree 1096 Adopting a National Building Code of the Philippines (NBCP) thereby revising
Republic Act 6541, An Act to Ordain and Institute a National Building Code of the Philippines.
7
The offices regularly contributing to the development of regulations for building are (1) Department of Public Works and
Highways, (2) Department of Energy, (3) Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

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administrative orders, based on need and demand. Professional codes as approved by the DPWH
Secretary serves as referral codes.

In 2004, the DPWH has upgraded the building code, via the issuance of the 2004 Revised
Implementing Rules and Regulations of the National Building Code of the Philippines (P.D.
1096). The revision focuses largely on the regulation and control of (1) location; (2) site; (3)
design; (4) quality of materials; (5) construction; (6) use; (7) occupancy; and (8) maintenance.
However, the government is yet to enact a national green building code that will holistically
regulate by specifying environmental performance.

Currently, to promote and support environmental and energy efficiency best practices in
the property sector, the government has published, through the Department of Energy, the
Guidelines on Energy Conserving Design on Buildings and the Manual of Practice on Efficient
Lighting. Further, the Philippines having one of the most favorable regulatory environments
(ReEx Capital Asia Pte Ltd 2010) for Energy Service Companies (ESCOs), the government is
establishing the Super ESCO, “to overcome barriers to the implementation of energy efficiency
projects in the private and public sectors”(DOE 2010). ESCOs facilitates energy efficiency by
providing services that ensures energy savings through: (1) technical design assistance; (2)
technology verification, supply and monitoring; (3) financial and risk management.

The government has taken a mandatory-voluntary policy mix approach in promoting


energy efficiency and green building. This policy approach allows government to manage
energy consumption and at the same time allowing industry to grow. Compared with the rest of
the ASEAN region, the Philippines’ energy use per capita has been consistently declining from
2000-2008 (International Energy Agency cited in World Bank 2011).

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540
520
500
480
460
440
420
400
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007

Chart 2-2 Philippines - Energy use (kg of oil equivalent per capita) (World Bank 2011)

However, the presence of both mandatory and voluntary environmental measures and
programs for buildings, poses an implementation challenge. The presence of a robust national
green building code will accelerate the push for greener buildings. It establishes clear mandatory
minimums for green that help in enforcement, allowing the property industry grow in a level
playing field.

2.5.2 Environment Laws and Regulations

The Philippine Government has enacted environmental laws in the past decade that has
indirectly affected the building industry, but none of these laws were crafted to specifically
address the need for environmental standards for the building industry.

Title Year
Republic Act 8749 – Clean Air Act 1999
Republic Act 9003 – Ecological Solid Waste Management Act 2000
Republic Act 9275 – Clean Water Act 2004
Republic Act 9367 – Biofuels Act 2006
Republic Act 9512 – Environmental Awareness and Education Act 2008
Republic Act 9513 – Renewable Energy Act 2008
Republic Act 9729 – Climate Change Act 2009

Table 2-4 Laws related to green building and climate change enacted in the past decade.8

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Source: Author’s compilation from various sources, http://senate.gov.ph and http://congress.gov.ph.

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In response, Senator Miriam Defensor -Santiago during the 14th and 15th Congress to
author three (3) green building related bills to address the lack of policy support in the areas of
standards, energy efficiency and education.

In the House of Representatives, the need to develop environmental standards for


government buildings has led Representative Anna York – Bondoc to author House Bill 6397, an
act to establish a green building standard for planning, design, construction, operation or
maintenance practices, renovation, expansion and retrofitting of government building projects in
the Philippines. Further, House Resolution 704 was authored by Rep. Bondoc to urge the House
of Representatives to have its building retrofitted to be the first government building in the
Philippines. This is to signify government’s intention to take the lead in developing green
buildings in the Philippines.

Recognizing green jobs satisfy the demand for green development, Senator Manny Villar
has authored Senate Bill 3144 – Promoting Green Collar Jobs in the Philippines Act of 2009.
The proposed bill identified the following areas as priorities in green job development: (1)
Coastal clean-up and bay watch projects; (2) Reforestation efforts and tree planting; (3)
Construction and designation of bike lanes and installation of solar powered street lights and
other clean energy initiatives; (4) Planting and replanting of coconut trees to ensure bio-fuel
feed stock; (5) Opportunities in refitting public utility vehicles with liquefied petroleum gas and;
(6) Re-electrification of barangays using solar panels and hydro-electric grids.

Title Year
Senate Bill 3377 - An Act Authorizing Higher Education Curriculum Development and 2009
Graduate Training in Advanced Energy and Green Building Technologies
Senate Bill 1799 - An Act Establishing a Green Energy for Homes and Buildings Program in 2010
the Department of Energy to Provide Financial Assistance to Promote Residential,
Commercial, and Industrial Scale Energy Efficiency and On-Site Renewable Technologies.
Senate Bill 2574 - An Act to Create the Green Building Code Commission to Draft the 2010
National Green Building Code

Table 2-5 Green Building related bills filed by Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago. (Author’s compilation)

Most of these priorities are part of the green building agenda. This bill, if passed, is seen
as a way to stimulate job creation in key areas of concern for green building.

17
Local governments are beginning to make green building a part of their key strategy for
the environment. Under the leadership of former mayor, Hon. Feliciano Belmonte, Quezon City
(QC) was able to pass the first local government ordinance focused on the promotion of greener
buildings. The Green Building Ordinance (Herrera-Dy et.al. 2009) was authored by Councilor
Bernadette Herrera - Dy to enable the city to efficiently promote a green building incentives
program for the property sector. The Green Building Ordinance also requires that malls,
hospitals, subdivisions and government buildings to install sewage facilities to ensure cleaner
effluent before it is released back to the environment (Philippine Star 2009).

Further, to reduce the “heat island effect”9, currently experienced in QC, Councilor
Franz Pumaren authored the Green Rooftops Ordinance. The ordinance aims to reinvite
biodiversity in the city, improve the city’s aesthetics and improve overall quality of life.

The City of Makati, the Philippines’ business capital, has been a recognized leader in
delivering environmental programs. Under the leadership of former mayor Hon. Jejomar Binay,
the city has been receiving awards in environmental governance. In 2009, the city’s solid waste
diversion and reduction program was named one of the Outstanding Local Governance Programs
in the 2009 Galing Pook Awards (Balita 2009). With strong linkages with the civic
organizations and the private sector, the city has been active in developing education and
awareness programs that promote the reduction of green house gas emissions, development
urban greening strategies and establishment of disaster management strategies (World Bank
2009).

The Development Bank of the Philippines is set to build a green building at the Bonifacio
Global City in Taguig City. The project unveiling rites were led by former President Gloria
Macapagal Arroyo last January 2010. The project will highlight several green building features
including solar power harvesting, modern roof for reduced heat gain, a storm drainage system for

9
Heat island effect refers to heat generated in heavily built up areas. It increases the cooling load for buildings, thereby
increasing the amount of energy utilized. For more information please see USEPA, n.d. Heat Island Effect | U.S. EPA. USEPA
website. Available at: http://www.epa.gov/heatisld/ [Accessed March 7, 2011].

18
additional water supply, natural light, insulated walls for heat buffers, and water conservation
features (Development Bank of the Philippines 2010).

The increasing number of bills filed in congress, and programs and policies developed by
local government units indicates public sector’s recognition that green building is a viable
solution to address the negative impacts of climate change and other environmental issues.
Further, it must be acknowledged that government legislation has the potential to stimulate the
market. Tax incentives, may increase market demand, hasten industry to respond, resulting to
lower prices of green building goods and services. Furthermore, it may bring about a
competitive environment that may result to better access to sustainable products and innovation
paving the way for green jobs.

2.5.3 Other Government Programs

The Philippine Efficient Lighting Market Transformation Project (PELMATP) is a five-


year project led by the Department of Energy (DOE) with support from the Global Environment
Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It aims to reduce
green house gas emissions associated with the use of inefficient lighting. The project highlights
the utilization of energy efficient lighting systems through the development of standards,
policies, guidelines and programs on energy efficient lighting.

In 2008, the Philippine Energy Summit was held to serve as a venue for the private and
public sector to exchange opinions regarding issues and concerns with respect to the oil price
spike, its negative impacts on the economy and its effects on vulnerable sectors. The summit
seeks to build consensus on pathways to addressing this problem. This was the one of the first
engagements between government and the private sector were green building was promoted to
the public to promote energy efficiency. 10

10
The author’s presentation during the Philippine Energy Summit may be downloaded at
http://www.doe.gov.ph/e%20summit/presentation/Green%20Buildings%20-%20dela%20cruz.pdf.

19
In May 2009, the Department of Energy (DOE) implemented the Philippines Energy
Efficiency Project (PEEP), supported by a loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The
program endeavors to highlight the societal benefits of energy efficiency in the commercial,
residential and public sectors. One of the key initiatives of the project involves the establishment
of an efficient building rating system for new and existing building. There is an ongoing
discussion between the PHILGBC and the DOE to work together on the Efficient Building
Initiative component of PEEP. This component will develop a green building rating system, and
will be utilizing BERDE as the basis for the development of the government-led green building
rating system (DOE 2010).

To signify government’s support to promote green trade The Center for International
Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) an attached agency of the Department of Trade and
Industry (DTI) invited the PHILGBC to be a partner in the 1 st Philippine International Eco-Show
(PINES) to promote eco-products and services. Green building was also highlighted in the
exposition through a seminar conducted by the PHILGBC. The successful delivery of the
exposition in 2010 led to a renewed partnership between the PHILGBC and CITEM to deliver
again the said exposition in 2011.

2.6 Challenges Faced by Green Building Programs

Despite the presence of multi-sectoral green building programs, the adaption of green
building has been lagging due to lack of awareness on the benefits of green building. More
information, education and communication (IEC) programs for the public has to be developed to
enable the public internalize the societal benefits of green building, thus building demand.

The national government and several key cities are already moving forward with the
passing of additional regulations to support green building. However, there is a need for further
understanding of the benefits of green building on a governance standpoint. Further, despite the
passage of several environmental regulations, there is a need to develop a green building
regulation that holistically covers the various aspects of green building (e.g. water, energy, land
use, indoor environment quality, emissions, heritage conservation, etc.). Furthermore, the

20
Bureau of Product Standards of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-BPS), the national
government’s standards body has not developed nor adapted yet any green building standard.
Studies related to the benefits, market demand, and technologies of green building that may
support legislative action are also lacking, especially studies done in the local context. In the
absence of locally developed studies, legislators are referring to foreign standards, which has the
potential of actually doing more harm than good to the building industry. In green building,
local issues, including, but not limited to, climate, culture, and business practice has to be made
part of regulations, rating schemes, and standards.

In 2008, the PHILGBC, in partnership with the Professional Development Center of the
United Architects of the Philippines (UAP-PDC) has delivered a green building seminar for
architects as a capability enhancement program. With the foreseen increased demand for green
architects, and the dynamic developments in the area of green architecture, new training modules
has to be designed and delivered to fill knowledge gaps in this area. It is recognized, that the
potential to harness the development of technologies, materials, and services for green buildings
is challenged, due to the lack of understanding and absence of cooperation among building
professionals. Currently, the PHILGBC has been delivering presentations to various building
professional organizations help in the capability enhancement efforts of its partners, especially in
the areas of water conservation and efficiency, solid waste management and energy efficiency11.

A large part of the costs associated to developing a green building is associated to energy
technologies. Lack of financing for green projects has led the International Finance Corporation
(IFC), the financing arm of the World Bank Group to establish the Sustainable Energy Finance
Program (SEFP). The project supports the creation of a commercial financing market for
sustainable energy (SE) projects in the Philippines (World Bank 2009). IFC has partnered with
the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) (Remo 2009) and Banco de Oro (BDO) (GMA News
2010) in developing a Sustainable Energy Finance Program (SEFP). The SEFP intends to
facilitate the shift from the use of energy from conventional sources to renewable sources,

11
Over 200 presentations have been delivered by the PHILGBC in the past four years to various professional organizations,
universities, companies, and government offices and attached agencies.

21
promote energy efficiency and carbon emission reduction. This mechanism also intends to
provide support to small and medium sized enterprises the needed financing to enable them to be
competitive and allow them to go gradually green. The BPI is looking at funding at least 20
additional renewable energy projects worth at least Php 100 million each. IFC has forged
partnerships with the BDO since 2002 through the IFC’s Sustainable Energy Finance Program
designed to guarantee up to 50% of the risk of loans taken by investors from BDO.

Majority of the employer-respondents are commenting that there are a growing number
of buyers of green building products and services. However, majority of the respondents
commented that lack of awareness in the benefits of green building is hindering its growth in the
country. It is also recognized that campaigns that will help identify green experts, materials, and
technology is also lacking. There is a strong perception that green building is expensive due to
the high upfront costs. Further understanding of the lifecycle cost may help in promoting green
building uptake. Further, it is recognized that the larger issue is the lack of relevant laws that
support an investment climate required for green building.

2.7 Occupation and Skills for Green Building

2.7.1 Architecture and Engineering

There will be increased demand for architects and engineers with green building
knowledge. The property market is slowly transforming into a sophisticated market demanding
projects with green credentials. The public is gradually understanding the benefits of buying
green is now looking for it when deciding on where to live, work, play, and learn. Architects and
engineers are enablers in this space by developing solutions, particularly, designs and
technologies that are resource efficient.

2.7.2 Energy Managers

In looking for ways to address the need to move forward sustainably in the building
sector, a closer look at existing buildings has to be taken into consideration. There is larger
number of existing building stock, than new building projects on the drawing board, and most of

22
the existing buildings present still utilize old technology that is inefficient in terms of energy.
Energy managers are seen as a group of professionals that may help in facilitating the shift of
these buildings in to greener buildings. Commenting on the importance of energy conservation
and efficiency, Pacia (2011) remarked that, "the world has seen a number of energy crisis and
people are now aware how much this is going to affect the world economy in the future if we do
not do something about it." However, there is only a handful certified energy managers in the
country. ENPAP is developing a program that will facilitate the creation of a national roster of
certified energy managers in the country.

2.7.3 Marketing Professionals

Marketing professionals with knowledge on sustainability are seen as key in the


promotion of greener buildings. There is the challenge of hiring professionals who are able to
articulate the benefits of green building and increase awareness. "In terms of opportunities,
what's good about it is there is an increasing public awareness about the necessity to build
responsibly and to develop with a sustainable mindset. So there is that public push. You see that
globally and in many facets of our Philippine society now”, according to Joel Luna (2011), of
Ayala Land, Inc.

For green building as an environmental solution to work, there should be enough


marketing professionals who are able to help in creating market demand that will push building
developers to sell more of this building type.

2.7.4 Green Building Trainors

The industry now slowly accepting green building as part of their corporate mandates,
there is a remarkable demand for green building trainers, speakers, and facilitators. Building
technologies, being very dynamic, a roster of professionals abreast with the latest in building
trends are very much in needed in industry. These professionals have to exhibit a high-level of
communication skills.

23
2.7.5 Certification Professionals

Third party certification and verification systems and standards are essential in
identifying green buildings. Green building rating schemes are also becoming popular to
building professionals in measuring environmental performance of building. These increase the
credibility for projects claiming green credentials. Building a national roster of green building
professionals and assessors with auditing skills is vital. Also crucial is the development of green
material specialists who has a very high understanding of standards and other specific skills and
knowledge that may be required include life cycle assessments, material science, and
construction workflow.

2.8 The Skills Response

As the building and construction sector is slowly transforming to green, industry is


starting to experience difficulty in filling positions due to skills mismatch. Training of existing
workers to upgrade skills is also urgently needed. Upgrading and realignment of existing
training systems is a priority for proper delivery of green building services.

Among occupations that are currently affected are workers with green building expertise,
professionals handling engineering works with green building expertise, quantity surveyors,
safety engineers, energy designers and managers, sustainability officers, waste management
officers, and marketing personnel with significant knowledge in green building.

Though several of the organizations interviewed have in place trainings and seminars that
support green building, all of the respondents agree that present trainings are not sufficient due to
the following: (1) Most of the trainings are only available in Metro-Manila and not available in
other regions of the country, (2) Skilled and semi-skilled workers still lack technical know-how
on more complex green building related work (e.g. solar technology, HVAC, energy
management etc.), (3) lack of access to trainings due to costs associated with high quality
trainings, (4) lack of government support.

24
Further on the need to provide for appropriate skills trainings and development programs
are the occupations deemed to be most in demand in the next five years. These occupations as
identified by employers and associations interviewed are Architects, Engineers, BERDE
Assessors, Green Building Certifiers, Green Material, Supplier, Maintenance/Project Managers,
Electrical/Energy Managers, Sanitary Personnel, and Mechanical/Laborer with Green Building
Know-how.

The BERDE Program of the PHILGBC is currently undergoing the pilot stage. There are
several building projects nominated by several organizations to help out in the research and
development of BERDE. During discussions with stakeholders regarding the delivery of
BERDE buildings, it was noted that building owners are challenged in identifying and hiring
new employees for their green building projects. The lack of know-how on the specific skill-sets
required, particularly on green certification sometimes compel companies to hire foreign
consultants. This solves the problem in the short term, but the costs associated with hiring of
foreign consultants are seen to increase product costs and are perceived to be a significant barrier
to greening a building.

In February 2011, the PHILGBC trained the first set of BERDE Professionals and
Assessors to address this gap. There are thirty (30) new professionals now already fielded to
assist in building projects. However, this is not enough to address the growing need for trained
green building professionals. The challenge is to match the growing demand with the expansion
of the BERDE Certification Program. The PHILGBC is now discussing with potential partners
who are interested to become BERDE-accredited training institutions. Training modules and
programs are now being designed to standardize the green building education materials. The
following courses are being developed: (1) Certified BERDE Professional Course; (2) Certified
BERDE Assessors Course; (3) Green Building Expert Training Course. 12 This strategy is put in
place to rapidly expand the program across the country.

12
Various specific expert trainings (e.g. energy, water, solid waste management etc.) are currently developed by the PHILGBC.

25
Company/Organization Project BERDE Scheme Used
The Net Group Net Lima Project BERDE NC V1.0 (Pilot Project)
Ayala Land, Inc. One Evotech Building BERDE EC V1.0 (Pilot Project)
Nuvali Evoliving Center BERDE EC V1.0 (Pilot Project)
Tower One and Exchange Plaza BERDE EC V1.0 (Pilot Project)
Solaris One Building BERDE EC V1.0 (Pilot Project)
UP Ayala Land Techno Hub BERDE EC V1.0 (Pilot Project)
Greenbelt Mall BERDE EC V1.0 (Pilot Project)
BGC BPO Building BERDE EC V1.0 (Pilot Project)
Marquee Mall BERDE EC V1.0 (Pilot Project)
De la Salle University Henry Sy Hall BERDE NC V1.0 (Pilot Project)
BERDE for Education (under
development)
Megaworld Corporation Developments in Global City BERDE CT (under development)

Table 2-6 Projects engaged in the Pilot Program of the BERDE Green Building Rating System. (PHILGBC 2011)

A complementing effort is being developed by the Energy Efficiency Practitioners


Association of the Philippines (ENPAP), a pioneering organization focusing on the promotion of
the highest standards in energy management. ENPAP (2011) provides technical consulting,
trainings and seminars that are designed to enhance the capability and competence of energy
managers in the Philippines. According to Bernard Pacia (2011), President of ENPAP, “the
organization (ENPAP) is currently studying the proposal to make ENPAP’s energy efficiency
programs and trainings a part of the BERDE Certification Process”. ENPAP’s trained energy
experts may be tapped to serve in the BERDE certification process as BERDE Professionals
(CBP) who may ably assist companies in getting certified or as BERDE Assessors (CBA) to help
ensure that project proponents’ claims are assessed accurately 13.

Environmental trainings, specifically for unskilled labor and skilled labor (tradesmen) is
almost not present. The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) the
government institution that was formed to develop technical and vocational skills in the
Philippines, does not have a program specific to greening of skills.

13
"There are only a handful of Certified Energy Managers in the country, and all of them have been certified abroad. The field of
energy is also not popular here. If the pending bill on Energy is passed into law, this should complement the BERDE project and
I see big opportunities for people to go into the field of energy management.", According to Bernard Pacia, as he identifies future
employment demand in the Green Building Sector. See: Pacia, B., 2011. Case Study on Occupational and Skills Needs in the
Green Building Sector: Philippines (Interview).

26
An appropriate soft skills training response for tradesmen are urgently needed,
particularly in the following areas: (1) development of strategic skills, (2) increase environmental
awareness and sustainable development, (3) coordination, management and business skills, and
(4) innovation. A significant number of skilled and semi-skilled workers are self-trained, with
knowledge on tasks learned largely from experience. Expanding the trained pool of skilled and
semi-skilled workers is needed. An increasing amount of the local workforce are now working
abroad and there is a need to continuously train new workers, especially with expertise in the
above mentioned soft/generic skills.

There is a need to train manufacturers in greener manufacturing practices and how to get
their companies get third party certification. BERDE for New Construction provides points for
projects that utilize materials that has a lesser carbon footprint, and has recycled content.
Developing the construction materials market is essential in expanding green building programs
in the country. Lack of understanding of material manufacturers on the need to engaged in
greener production will reduce competitiveness, and in the process making it more difficult for
building owners to specify greener materials.

In the past two (2) years, there have been constant inquiries and requests for internship
opportunities from universities to the PHILGBC, especially in the areas of research in
architecture, engineering and environmental studies. The lack of focus for green building in the
present formal curriculum for architects and engineers has led to this demand. Lack of literature
on green building in the local setting has led university professors to inquire about hands-on
learning opportunities for the future architects and engineers. "There is still a need for
government to also look into incorporating the relevant science and engineering of green
building in the college curriculum," commented Mr. Bernard Pacia (2011), President of the
Energy Practitioners Association of the Philippines (ENPAP).

The PHILGBC will be welcoming interns through the BERDE-NRA. Interns will be
made to assist and contribute to the work of the BERDE Technical Working Group (BERDE-
TWG) on the following: (1) ongoing research activities; (2) facilitation of technical meetings; (3)
planning activities related to the development of BERDE; and (4) policy development work.

27
The PHILGBC will be coordinating with the country’s leading universities in pursuing this
endeavor.

Also included in this program are in-house trainings, 14 and training from suppliers of
green building technologies. 15 PHILGBC member companies and partners routinely share their
expertise to council members by providing trainings and seminars.

Organization Training
Autodesk Integrated Design Delivery
Green Building Design
Building Information Modelling
Philips Lighting Dialux – Lighting design software
CECOPHIL Sustainable Project Management

Table 2-7 Partial list of trainings delivered with PHILGBC member companies and partners.

Lighting design is a rapidly growing field in the country. There is a need to equip new
lighting designers with the latest tools that will facilitate efficient lighting design. In the BERDE
rating system, Dialux, an open source tool, freely available from the web is one of the tools that
is suggested to be utilized by lighting designers, it must be noted however that, trainings for
lighting designers with regards to the use of the tool is still lacking.

Training modules in the area of Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) is also needed. IPD is
defined by the AIA California Council (2007) as “a project delivery approach that integrates
people, systems, business structures and practices into a process that collaboratively harnesses
the talents and insights of all participants to reduce waste and optimize efficiency through all
phases of design, fabrication and construction.” To efficiently design and construct a green
building, it has been heavily promoted in recent years that IPD be the project delivery approach
to ensure that there is a tight collaboration between the owner and the various professionals
involved in the project. The Autodesk in partnership with the PHILGBC delivered in 2009 a
seminar dedicated to discussions on IPD.

14
In-house trainings are largely focused on green building certification.
15
To be provided by PHILGBC-member companies.

28
While it is recognized that climate change and energy consciousness is a major driver for
green building, it is interesting to note that presently, skills available to respond appropriately to
green building is largely limited to architects and engineers. In the delivery of projects, a skilled
workforce with full understanding of green building will ensure smoother project delivery;
reduce wastage highlighting more efficient use of resources.

Growing interest in the development of policy to support green building is already


present. There has been growing demand from local governments seeking assistance on how to
develop policy on green building. Training may be provided to local legislators highlighting the
need for government to be more resource efficient to lessen negative environmental impacts
associated with governance. Government is a creator of significant building stock, as they
provide schools, medical facilities and other infrastructure to support the needs of their
constituents. Assisting government in the development of standards will be parallel action
between the private and public sector.

3 Conclusion

According to the respondents, there is a remarkable indication that green jobs are beyond
the realm of industry decision makers. During the interview most respondents indicate that there
is a strong need to understand the role buildings play in the environment and the economy in
order to give significant attention to greening of new and existing buildings.

The BERDE Green Building Rating System as a tool to guide professionals in designing
buildings and as a key to measuring environmental performance will require significant skills
upgrade of professionals and of the skilled and semi-skilled workforce. Developing “specialist
courses” for both building professionals and the labor force will facilitate smoother transition to
green collar work. Another key strategy may be in the development of IT based solutions and
the creation of trainings for its competent and efficient use, to enable industry to rapidly learn
green building technology.

The rise of greener buildings would allow the country to grow economically and develop
sustainably as it creates new jobs that help solve the climate crisis. But it has to be recognized

29
that this will only work if greener buildings make business sense. Business professionals has to
learn how to factor in the environment as they develop new business models to respond to the
societal need for greener buildings. Current market conditions in an especially vulnerable
economy like the Philippines calls for creative solutions. Trainings for the business sector on the
development of new business models are key to solving this issue.

It is recommended that platforms for knowledge exchange exercises be established and


be conducted between foreign building professionals with experience in green building
certification and their local counterparts. This is deemed essential, especially in developing
countries like the Philippines. Through this benchmarking exercise, the level of knowledge on
green building in the Philippines will be raised, as it allows the local professionals learn from the
green building experience of early takers from abroad and in the short term, facilitates trade, as it
opens to foreign consultants’ business opportunities in the Philippines.

Green buildings generate jobs not only in design, construction, retrofitting, and
operations, but also heavily on the supply side, particularly in manufacturing. The PHILGBC
and PBE partnership on urban greening has the potential to create jobs in the consulting,
manufacturing and labor contracting sectors. The project has huge potential and needs to be
expanded to reach a larger constituency-base.

Other countries have future proofed their infrastructure and buildings by going green.
Significantly increased competitiveness of industry allowed their governments free up funds for
other necessary governance priorities. Shifting to green jobs is largely a matter of upgrading
existing skillsets and expanding on knowledge in industry to allow economies to move forward
sustainably. If the Philippines would give the same level of attention to green building, we
ensure that the “ecology vs. economy issue” is not a matter of choosing between two priorities
but a matter of understanding how to harmonize these priorities to ensure sustainable
development. Further, it must be understood that green building must be holistic in its approach,
government’s action to addressing environmental concerns in the past are on a piece meal basis.
There is a need to develop a national standard for green building to ensure that clear baselines

30
are established that will allow stakeholders to easily understand key priorities as established by
government.

In the development of BERDE, much of the challenge lies in the fact that there is no clear
standard for greener buildings set forth by government. In the Management category of BERDE,
the declaration of “Basis of Design” was required to be submitted by project proponents, due to
the various standards (foreign and local) utilized by industry. This special submission is
requested from project proponents during the certification process, specifically to ensure that
they will measured against a single standard.

As the market matures, there has to be clearer rules setup by the national government to
lessen risk associated with green building investment. Roundtable, trainings, and seminars may
be provided both the public sector decision makers and their legislative staff to facilitate this
process.

There is much needed support to leapfrog the BERDE National Research Agenda. This
agenda seeks to get inputs from industry to facilitate green building research in the country.
Special trainings may be conducted later based on research findings to ensure industry has the
latest information on green building.

Technology is very dynamic in the 21 st century and governance both in the private and
public sector must be able to adapt. Innovation and market demand is seen as primary driving
forces behind green building. A well-informed pool of industry stakeholders is key in adapting
to this very rapid change.

Clearly, the public is able and ready to take on the challenge of climate change and other
environmental concerns. But a clearer path towards this must be provided to enable a smoother
transition to a greener economy.

31
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