Cebu News

City Council adopts green infrastructure

Mary Ruth R. Malinao - The Freeman
City Council adopts green infrastructure
Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama, presiding officer of the City Council.

CEBU, Philippines —  The Cebu City Council has passed an ordinance requiring the design, construction or retrofitting of buildings and other structures to meet the minimum standards of a green infrastructure.

Authored by Councilors Nestor Archival Sr. and Jerry Guardo, the ordinance is entitled “Green Building Ordinance of the City of Cebu”.

“To support the government's efforts to fight climate change, there is a need to institutionalize eco-friendly systems and technologies that reduce greenhouse gases and other hazardous emissions from buildings and other structures,” read the ordinance.

“For promoting sustainability, and helping the national government realize its agreement, it is essential to make all buildings ‘green’ as places of working, living, studying, shopping, healthcare, and entertainment,” it added.

Section 4 states the ordinance shall cover all vertical structures to be newly built, remodeled, renovated, retrofitted, whether or not used for commercial, industrial, residential, institutional, or agricultural purposes within the territorial jurisdiction of the city, except those expressly exempted by law.

In the case of proposed and new structures, in addition to the requirements provided for by the National Building Code, an applicant must include in the building design, planning and construction, to be submitted with the Office of the Building Official (OBO) for purposes of acquiring a building permit as certified by the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) and Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CCENRO), at least three features of a green building like provision of an alternative source of energy, such as, but not limited to the installation and use of solar panels, installation of skylights, provision of urban green space, among others.

The applicant must also submit a sworn statement with the OBO that the proposed facility and its operation and information showing that the facility will operate as represented in the application.

Section 6 states the building official may order the revocation of the building permit upon the recommendation of the CCENRO, if he finds that the permit was obtained by fraud or misrepresentation, or the holder of the permit has substantially failed to construct or complete the facility in compliance with the plans, specification, and procedures in such certificate.

In processing an application for the issuance of a building permit, the building official shall ensure that the applicant satisfies and conforms with the approved standard requirements on zoning and land use, lines and grades, structural design, sanitary and sewerage, environmental health, electrical and mechanical safety as well as with other rules and regulations promulgated in accordance with the provisions of the National Building Code of the Philippines.

Per Section 9, a system of tax discount shall be devised for compliance based on the criteria: use of renewable energy, use of energy efficient technology, provision of open spaces, and use of environment-friendly materials.

An evaluation committee will be created to devise a system and guidelines for the grant of tax discount in compliance with the criteria set in the ordinance.

The committee shall be tasked to evaluate and recommend tax discount for the consideration of the City Council.

It shall be composed of the City Treasurer, City Assessor, CCENRO head, City Building Official, CPDO, and two non-government organizations in the field of environment.

The OBO shall be the office primarily tasked to implement the provisions of the ordinance.

The same office together with CCENRO, CPDO, as well as the City Treasurer and Assessor shall promulgate the implementing rules and regulations within 90 days after the effectivity of the ordinance. — GMR (FREEMAN)

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