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House Passes Green Building Act in the Philippines

Soon, builders and developers will be required to include a Tree Planting Plan in their projects

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Photography: Unsplash (Main Photo)

The House of Representatives has approved House Bill 7373, also known as the Green Building Act, on its third and final reading.

Aiming to mitigate the effects of climate change and to preserve the environment in the country, the Act stipulates the planting of trees for any construction of residential, commercial, industrial, and public buildings.

A planting plan will be required

All applicants for building permits are required to include a Tree Planting Plan (TPP) in the documents to be submitted to their local government units. The TPP must include the following information: the total area of the project; the indicative layout of the area to be planted in; the number of trees to be planted; the kind of species to be planted (with preference given to indigenous species of trees); and the construction and design of said area for trees and flora, which shall emphasize the façade of the structure and all communal areas.

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Aside from these, the bill also contains a provision stating that any person, firm or corporation, department, office, bureau agency or government instrumentality intending to construct, alter, repair, or convert any building or structure, will be obliged to set aside and properly maintain areas adequate for planting and maintaining trees and flora in the said property.

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This bill will minimize further exploitation of natural resources

Rep. Emmeline Aglipay-Villar, who was the principal author of HB 7373, claimed that the Philippines’ carbon emissions dominate the rate by which it is able to produce and replenish its green resources.

“The continuous abuse of our forest reserves by big businesses does not help our cause either,” she added. “With the passage of HB 7373, we are confident that we can effectively reduce the exploitation our green resources.”

The rules and regulations necessary to implement the Green Building Act shall be issued by Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in cooperation with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) within 60 days of its effectivity.

The bill is co-authored by Reps. Nancy Catamco (2nd District, North Cotabato), Noel Villanueva (3rd District, Tarlac), Joseph Stephen Paduano (Party-list, Abang Lingkod), Pablo Ortega (1st District, La Union), Maria Vida Espinosa-Bravo (1st District, Masbate), Mark Go (Lone District, Baguio City), Gary Alejano (Party-list, Magdalo), and others.

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Source: House of Representatives website

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