RD's Message for National Real Estate Association, Inc.'s 4th Quarter General Membership and Business Meeting


Good afternoon everyone! In behalf of our Regional Director, Engr. Ralph Pablo, I am Atty. Cleo Sabado-Andrada, the current Officer-in-Charge at the Office of the Regional Director through Special Order No. 24, series of 2017. I am honored to represent RD Pablo in this event and I am pleased to deliver a message he left for you.

       To our guest of honor, City of Baguio’s very own Vice Mayor, Hon. Edison Bilog; to the officers and members of the National Real Estate Association, Inc.-Baguio – CAR Chapter led by Chapter President Mr. Rodolfo Paragas; and guests; ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.

       I am much honored to be invited today as your guest speaker. However, I would like to sincerely apologize for my absence today as I have to attend an equally important matter. Nonetheless, I prepared a message for all of you which I hope can serve as a motivation to all you.

       Real estate is vital to urban development. Being a civil engineer, a geodetic engineer and an environmental planner by profession, I believe that real estate is among the major drivers of urban development. It is significantly contributory to the creation of an environmentally sustainable future. However, it is unfortunate that while we recognize the contribution of the real estate industry in our society, we cannot also deny facts that the industry consumes a lot of natural resources and that it is a significant source of gas emissions due to the increasing number of electrical devices used in the construction, maintenance and operations of residential and commercial buildings.

       Based on a 2016 report from the World Economic Forum, the real estate industry consumes more energy compared to any other sectors and is a growing contributor to land, air and water pollution, especially in urban areas. The latter can be attributed to the greenhouse gas emissions, solid waste generation and water effluents from real estate buildings.

       Despite the earlier-mentioned environmental impacts of the real estate industry, it would be wrong to suggest that people behind this sector have not acknowledged the concept of “environmental sustainability”. According to the World Economic Forum, many companies in the real estate industry have already taken action to reduce their industry’s impact to the environment over the past years.

In the Philippines, there has been a shift towards the establishment of more environmentally sustainable buildings commonly known as “green buildings” or “green architecture”. Firms and organizations have come up with environmental policies and sustainable targets; and have committed to implement environmental programs, projects and activities as part of their corporate social responsibilities.  

       In the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-CAR, it is very important for us that the real estate industry abide to our environmental and natural resources laws; and to prescribed ethical and environmental standards. May I just remind you that prior to any development, please make sure that you have secured necessary permits such as tree cutting permit and Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) among others. The acquisition of these permits are in accordance with the provisions of the Presidential Decree No. 705 or the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines and the Presidential Decree No. 1586 which established the Environmental Impact Statement System in the country. These regulations primarily intend to make sure that the establishment or expansion of real estate businesses do not abuse our environment and natural resources. With the effectivity of the new rules of procedure on environmental cases wherein the precautionary principle has been taken cognizance by the court as evidence, exercise precaution in introducing any development in the real estate industry to ensure environmental sustainability is attained.

       To the members of the National Real Estate Association, Inc., I would like to emphasize to you your obligation to protect, manage and use our environment and natural resources properly to ensure environmental sustainability. I also encourage you to adopt environmental sustainability principles which are very relevant to the industry you belong to.

       Adhere to best-in-class sustainability standards in all aspects of your businesses from construction, operations and policies. Ensure that your decisions contribute positively to environmental sustainability in your communities, in cooperation with local government units, government agencies, environmental planners from the private sector, and other stakeholders. Commit to continuous improvement of your businesses in terms of environmental performance by taking into account your ecological footprint; exposure to natural or man-made disasters and risks; internal environmental policies; and response to climate change mitigation and adaptation. Commit to minimize emissions of greenhouse gases by observing environment-friendly practices. Try to look into the efficient use of renewable resources to sustain the needs of your businesses. Further, initiate or join environmental programs, projects and activities as part of your corporate social responsibility.

       Adopting these set of principles would significantly contribute to a more sustainable environment and economy for the real estate industry. That means a win-win situation to you and to the environment so I hope you can consider adopting them.

       To end, I would like to thank all of you for giving me the privilege to be your guest speaker. Have a fruitful discussion and we look forward to having you as partners of the DENR-CAR. ###