BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance requiring establishments in the central business district to incorporate in their business areas, stalls or buildings, a green zone to promote an environmentally friendly central business area and as an act of support to the improvement of air quality in the city proper.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Elaine D. Sembrano stated that the proposed local legislative measure shall cover all buildings and businesses within the central business district.
Under the proposal, all businesses are required to place and maintain in their premises live indoor and outdoor plants and for every 10 square meters of commercial space. A minimum of 10 potted live plants shall be required to be placed or planted inside or at the frontage of the commercial space.
Further, commercial buildings shall be required to construct or place plant boxes panted with natural plants within their premises such as frontages, hallways, atria, and similar places not rented out or occupied.
The City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) shall propagate and make available at the city nursery the appropriate indoor and outdoor plants to be given to the owners or managers of the commercial establishments for free.
Moreover, the transport of the plants to the establishments shall be the responsibility of the business owners and managers and any addition to the required number of plants shall be paid for by the establishments at a cost to be determined by the concerned department of the local government.
Sembrano pointed out that no business permit shall be given or renewed without satisfactory compliance to the pertinent provisions of the proposed local legislative measure.
According to her, green building technology is now a trend adopted in response to a growing concern to mitigate the effects of global warming. Urban areas teeming with human activity are becoming jungles of concrete edifices and structures replacing natural earth covers, thereby effectively altering the ecosystem of settlements.
She pointed out cities as urban centers are magnets for migrants seeking to improve their lives through the various socio-economic opportunities such as employment and order lifestyle, offered by a myriad of companies and businesses.
Sembrano noted in view of the increase in population there is an observed increase in incidents of respiratory diseases and illnesses due to air pollution and intensified carbon dioxide emissions from motor vehicles. Such problem is aggravated by the fact that vegetation is removed to give way to concrete structures.
The ordinance stipulated that commercial buildings like malls, shopping centers, fastfood centers, amusement centers and similar establishments are becoming the primary destinations of people instead of outdoor parks and playgrounds.
It added requiring owners of commercial buildings and establishments to make use of live plants within their premises, along hallways or walkways, receiving and waiting areas, either in plant boxes or pots would promote a more beautiful environment for customers and workers alike.
By Dexter A. See