The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading House Bill 7373 or the proposed “Green Building Act” which aims to mitigate the effects of climate change and preserve the environment by requiring the planting of trees for the construction of residential, commercial industrial and public buildings.
Principally authored by Rep. Emmeline Aglipay-Villar (Party-list, DIWA), the bill seeks to mandate all applicants for building permits of residential, commercial, industrial and public development projects to submit a tree planting plan, in addition to the other requirements imposed by local government units.
The bill mandates all applicants for building permits of residential, commercial, industrial and public development projects to submit a tree planting plan.
The bill declares that the State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthy ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature. The State shall also promote the planting of trees to enhance environmental quality, mitigate the effects of climate change, and preserve the environment for present and future generations.
The bill provides that any person, firm or corporation, or department, office, bureau agency or government instrumentality intending to construct, alter, repair, or convert any building or structure, shall be required to set aside and properly maintain areas adequate for planting and maintaining trees and flora in said property.
The tree planting plan (TPP) shall contain the following: total area of the project; indicative lay-out of the area or areas to be planted; number of trees to be planted, taking into account the ratio of at least one tree for every 500 square meters for commercial or industrial projects or one tree for every 250 square meters for housing development projects; the tree species to be planted; and construction and design of said areas for trees and flora, which shall give emphasis to the facade of the structure and all communal areas.
Indigenous species of trees will be given priority in the TPP and will also take into account the location, climate, and topography of the area.
Within 60 days from the effectivity of the act, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), in coordination with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Agriculture (DA), shall issue the necessary implementing rules and regulations to carry out the objectives of the act.
Aglipay-Villar noted that like in other countries, the country’s carbon emission rate is faster than its ability to produce and replenish green resources.
“Like in other countries, the country’s carbon emission rate is faster than its ability to produce and replenish green resources.”
“The continuous abuse of our forest reserves by big businesses does not help our cause either. With the passage of HB 7373, we are confident that we can effectively reduce the exploitation of our green resources,” said the lady legislator.
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), and Gary Alejano (Party-list, Magdalo), among others.