QUEZON CITY, April 25-26, 2017 – Government leaders and green building experts gathered for a two (2) day consultation and workshop for the development of the National Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) for the building sector at Sequioa Hotel, Quezon City.  The workshop was conducted to properly address and discuss issues around the data gaps, and to identify the partners from the public and the private sectors that can contribute to the implementation of the NAMAs.

NAMA refers to a set of policies and actions that countries undertake as part of a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Different countries have different nationally appropriate action in accordance with mutual but distinguished responsibilities and respective capabilities.

Led by the United Nations Environment (UNE) in cooperation with the Climate Change Commission (CCC), the consultation workshop aimed to finalize the two (2) NAMA Potential actions namely:

  1. Philippine Energy Efficient Low Cost Housing; and
  2. Uptake of Green Buildings through Green Building Rating Scheme

Ms. Michelle Bosquet of the UNE led the discussion on the 1st NAMA on the Philippine Energy Efficient Low Cost Housing. The proposed actions initially identified include:

  1. Greening Affordable Housing
  2. Sustainable Design Program
  3. Renewable energy
  4. Pilot Programs with LGUs and relevant organizations

Agencies and organizations such as the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, (HLURB), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Housing Authority (NHA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Home Development Mutual Funds (HMDF/Pag-Ibig), Philippine Green Building Council (PHILGBC), and Subdivision and Housing Developers Association (SHDA) were some of the identified responsible parties for the 1st NAMA.

The discussion on the 2nd NAMA on the Uptake of Green Buildings through Green Building Rating System was moderated by Mr. Christopher de la Cruz, Chief Executive Officer of the PHILGBC. Proposed actions under the 2nd NAMA include:

  1. Increasing private sector buy in and engagement
  2. Capacity building –first with government staff within LGUs, then on a national level, followed by raising capacity within industry
  3. Incorporating BERDE into the update of the Green Building Code
  4. Introducing mandatory submission of energy consumption of large commercial & residential buildings
  5. Partnering with local government units (LGUs) to conduct pilot activities

The proposed actions would focus on: Engagement; Capacity Building; Case Studies, and Model Ordinances.

It was emphasized that the promotion of green building must be for the private and the public sectors. There is a need to increase the capacity of local governments, decision makers and professionals in the private sector. Furthermore, there is a need to focus on performance for the minimum standards for buildings.

The NAMA for the building sector was endorsed by the Climate Change Commission. Details of the NAMA is to be finalized by July 2017.


TAGUIG CITY, March 30, 2017 – Market leaders, property investors, contractors, and real estate experts gathered together in a seminar, “Blueprints for Green Buildings” last March 30, 2017, co-organized by GRESB, Asia-Pacific Real Estate Association (APREA), Quismbing Torres and supported by Philippine Green Building Council (PHILGBC). The presentations provided attendees with an overview of the tools and insights as well as case studies that may help them improve their real estate portfolio’s sustainability performance.

Ruben Langbroek, Head of GRESB Asia Pacific gave an overview on responsible investing which incorporates environmental, social, and governance factors (ESG), to better manage risks and generate sustainable long term returns.

Elizabeth Opena, Partner at Quisumbing Torres, a member firm of Baker McKenzie International, provided the salient features of the Philippine Green Building Code. In addition, a representative from company presented the 2nd Edition of the Global Sustainable Buildings Index, a report that compares sustainable policies, schemes and practices in 25 countries.

Sylvester Wong, Vice President at AECOM shared on the trends in sustainability.

Two case studies were presented showing sustainability best practices. Ms. Anna Maria Gonzales, Sustainability Manager of Ayala Land, Inc, and a member of the PHILGBC board shared about the Makati Stock Exchange Building, one of the oldest energy efficient buildings built in 1970. The MSE has been an awardee of the Don Emilio Abello Energy Efficient Awards from 2006-2013.

Mr. Raymond Rufino, Co-President of The Net Group (TNG) and Chair of the PHILGBC, shared that their company has partnered with the Aboitiz Power to provide clean energy for all the TNG buildings making them the only developer that uses renewable energy in the country. This action has reduced the organization’s carbon use by 93% which is equivalent to 1.2 million trees. He also shared that investing in waterless urinal and LED lights is a simple green building strategy that has a short payback period of only 1.4 years.

In summary, the seminar emphasized that green building is not about implementing one solution alone. Each aspect of the building needs to be considered to find the solution to lessen its carbon footprint.


MANILA – March 24, 2017 – The Department of Trade and Industry – Bureau of Philippine Standards (DTI-BPS) invited relevant government offices and industry associations to a meeting last March 24, 2017 at the New World Bay Hotel Manila to convene the Technical Committee on Forest and Forest Products or TC 78.

The BPS/TC 78 is formed to create the Philippine National Standards for forest and forest products which may include Forest Management System standards and Chain of Custody standards.

Currently there are 18 members of BPS/TC representing the government, professional association, academe, research institutions, testing institutions, trade/industry and consumer group. During the meeting, Ms. Maila Vasquez, Executive Director of Philippine Wood Producers Association (PWPA) and Mr. June Alvarez, Executive Director of the Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Inc. (PCEPSDI) were elected chairman and vice-chairman, respectively.

The Philippine Green Building Council (PHILGBC), represented by its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Christopher de la Cruz, is one of the organizations under the Consumers group.

Other members of the Technical Committee include: Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Forest Management Bureau, University of the Philippines Los Banos – Forestry Development Center, SGS Philippines, United Architects of the Philippines and Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Philippines among others.


TAGUIG CITY – February 17, 2017 – PHILGBC has conducted several workshops with Monocrete Construction Philippines, Inc. (MCPI) as part of the BERDE Pilot Program. As a pilot project for certification using the BERDE GBRS – Operations v.1.1.0 , MCPI and PHILGBC are identifying the appropriate and applicable credits to ensure the sustainable operations of an industrial facility for engineering products and solutions.

The latest workshop conducted last February 17, 2017 discussed the framework and the proposed credits by MCPI for their pilot project. Through this workshop, the PHILGBC engaged in discussions with MCPI on their recommended credits for their project. The proposed credits will undergo a comprehensive review before drafting the pilot rating scheme specific for MCPI.

The BERDE Pilot Program ensures the continuous development of BERDE Green Building Rating Schemes addressing the needs and priorities of different building types. For more information on the BERDE Pilot Program, contact the BERDE Program Secretariat through email at


MANILA – March 24, 2017 – The National Ecolabelling Programme – Green Choice Philippines (NELP-GBP) held the event launch and press conference for the 5th Kalikasan GP3 last March 24, 2017 at the New World Manila Bay Hotel. This year’s expo conference will be held from September 21-23, 2017 at the SMX Mall of Asia with the theme “Advancing Sustainable Consumption and Production in Addressing Climate Challenges”.

Dr. JR. Nereus Acosta, Chairperson, Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Inc. (PCEPSDI) – administrator of NELP-GBC, gave the opening remarks which was followed by a keynote address from Sen. Aquilino Pimentel, III, Senate President, 17th Congress – Senate of the Philippines.

Dr. Alvin Culaba, NELP-GCP Technical Committee Head, led the tribute to the people working behind the Green Choice Program. Dr. Acosta and Sen. Pimentel III presented the certificates of recognition to the individuals and organizations which included Mr. Christopher de la Cruz, Chief Executive Officer of the Philippine Green Building Council.

Usec. Zenaida Maglaya, KGP3 2015 Convener presented the 14 members of the KGP3 2017 Conveners who signed a Memorandum of Cooperation. As conveners, the organizations would provide support for the KGP3 2017 and serve as conference icons.

The KGP3 2017 conveners include: 17th Congress of Senate of the Philippines, Department of Tourism, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Trade and Industry, Local Government of Quezon City, Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Inc., Philippine Green Building Council (PHILGBC), Philippine Business for the Environment, Philippine Wood Producers Association, Foreign Chamber Council of the Philippines, GIZ Thailand, SM Supermalls and Ayala Land, Inc.

In the last KGP3 2015 Expo Conference, the PHILGBC co-presented the Green Building and Sustainable Construction Conference.

The KGP3 aims to present and discuss the global and local outlook in sustainable production and consumption (SCP) initiatives through the adoption of green economy strategies in addressing climate change mitigation and adaption and cultural heritage preservation.

Building Green Newsletter | Issue No. 6 February

Laguna Lake Development Authority Building as the First BERDE Certified Government Office

The Laguna Lake Development Authority Building is the first green building government office in the country to be BERDE (or Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence) certified.

TAGUIG CITY – 12 December 2016 – The Philippine Green Building Council’s (PHILGBC) BERDE  3-Star rating was officially awarded to the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) Building during an awarding ceremony held at the LLDA Building, National Ecology Center, Quezon City.

The two four-story buildings interconnected by bridge ways on all levels, are energy-efficient, climate-smart, ecologically adaptive and occupant-friendly. The building’s orientation minimizes heat gain and captures wind thus promoting natural ventilation in 86% of the total gross floor area. The LLDA building has double low-emitting argon windows that improves energy efficiency, and insulate walls that prevent heat absorption making rooms naturally cooler. The new headquarters also has its own waste water treatment facility and three rainwater harvesting tanks.

The LLDA building was previously certified with a BERDE 2-Stars rating for Stage 1 – Design, then acquiring a BERDE 3-Star rating for Stage 2 – As-Built.

TUV Rheinland Philippines, Inc. represented by Chief Operating Officer Tristan Loveres shared the role and purpose of a third-party assessor in the whole certification process. Loveres shared that as third-party, they had to ensure compliance of the facility with the established BERDE Green Building Rating Scheme. Loveres also expressed his support to the PHILGBC, “[T]his is where TUV Rheinland actively supports the Philippine Green Building Council in ensuring credibility, objectivity, and competence of the whole certification process.”

INSIDE THE BOARDROOM: Mr. Gabriel Maria Angelo Cascante, UAP, CBP

Gabriel Maria Angelo B. Cascante, UAP, CBP

Gabriel “Gabbie” Cascante, is a member of the Board of Trustees since 2016. He is one of the representatives under the Individual, Academe & Advocates member category. He is currently the Chair of the Membership Committee of the PHILGBC.

Gabbie is a registered and licensed architect by profession and a Certified BERDE Professional (CBP). He serves and shares his expertise as a Principal Architect, Consultant, Project & Construction manager, and Senior Partner Architect. His twenty seven years of extensive architecture experience allowed him to master the design, sustainability, construction, and management of building development.

From 2009, he is part of the Ecotektonika team as Consultant / Project Manager. In 2014, he became part of their Board of Directors. In his term, he designs and manages sustainable design projects like commercial and industrial buildings, and government buildings. His design of the Laguna Lake Development Authority Building is an example of an ecologically sustainable design project. It has been awarded a BERDE 3-Star rating. The LLDA office is the first Green Government Building using the BERDE Green Building Rating System. It showcases green building practices in the government sector and is a catalyst for other government agencies to follow.

He also provided his technical expertise during the development of the Green Building Program of Mandaue City, Cebu, a local government program promoting sustainability.


Founded and led by the entrepreneurial partners Jacques Dupasquier and Carlos Rufino, the group pioneered the “boutique IT office building” concept in the country. The company is considered the Philippines’ largest developer and operator of green office buildings. Their projects include: Net One Center, Net Square, Net Cube, Net Quad, and Net Plaza, Net Lima and Net Park.

In line with the vision to be recognized as the premier brand in delivering unparalleled workplace experience, The Net Group (TNG) commits itself to revolutionize workplaces by creating unique and sustainable lifestyle experience that offers excellence in design, technology, and service. They deliver green office spaces, making them the ideal choice for multinationals. All the buildings are currently occupied by 500 companies and prominent corporations like Fortune, JP Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, GE, Intel, Oracle, Ericsson, and Quisumbing Torres (Baker and McKenzie).

TNG was named in 2010 as the “Entrepreneurship Team of the Year” by the Asia CEO Award. It set new benchmarks with Net Lima, the sixth in their series of intelligent office buildings, which remains the biggest office developer in Bonifacio Global City with 54.5% of the gross leasable office in the area.

TNG has integrated the green philosophy into all aspects of property development, from design to construction to management. To show their commitment to green building, they switched six of their buildings to AboitizPower’s renewable energy, Cleanergy in 2013.

TNG continues to inspire leadership in building green.  Their Net Lima building is the first certified green building in the country under the BERDE Green Building Rating System with a 4-Stars rating. In addition, TNG’s Net Park is currently eyeing to achieve the highest rating under BERDE.

Carlos Rufino: A Visionary in Real Estate Development and a Leader in Green Building

Carlos “Charlie” Rufino is a prime mover in the real estate development and an exemplar green developer.

A visionary, and despite the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis that struck and left many businesses bankrupt, Charlie was able to see the potential of a former military base.  He knew that he can make something great out of the then barren and former military base and turn it into a great and remarkable city — Bonifacio Global City (BGC).

As Chief Executive Officer of The Net Group, he focused and invested on green office projects and built the first high rise building in Fort Bonifacio, The Net One Center. Evidently, he was able to build and develop a city in only a span of 25 years.

Charlie has achieved numerous notable projects but considers his involvement in the development of Fort Bonifacio to be the highlight of his career. For him, seeing and being able to share his experience in contributing to the growth and development of Bonifacio Global City is incredible and fulfilling.

“I have been doing projects, I’ve been doing tall buildings, … But doing a city and seeing something grow from 20-25 years ago to what it is today is unbelievable to see because very few can really experience it. At the beginning there was nothing and you’re just looking at conceptual drawings to really seeing something there. And I can share that experience because I think for many people, this process is usually from 50-60 years and the people who start are usually no longer available at the end but I’ve been able because of the past growth of Bonifacio we’ve been able to see in 22 years what has really happened.”

Together with Jacques Dupasquier, Charlie formed The Net Group, the largest developer of premium office buildings in Bonifacio Global City. The success of the company is attributed to the impeccable reputation of the two co-founders and their team. The Net Group is known in the industry as a company that delivers on its commitments. Charlie considers having a clean and good track record very important as it goes a long way. Further, he believes that in building projects, one must not create  “win-lose” situations wherein only one party benefits and the other does not.

Charlie and Jacques are advocates of sustainable development. They are prime supporters of the Philippine Green Building Council (PHILGBC), the largest green building movement in the country.

Green building has been a part of Charlie’s vocabulary for the longest time. Ten years ago, the Philippines started to become a focal point of international groups who brought their own model of development with international standards. Charlie took this opportunity to align his interest in green building. He invested in the cost and marketing of his advocacy. Thus, giving him a greater understanding that green does not only apply to the design of the building but also on how a building is being used.

During the early years of PHILGBC, Charlie encouraged his son Ramon, who then just came back from finishing his Master’s Degree in Real Estate Development from Colombia University, to support the movement as pushing green building among all sectors is constructive and rewarding.

“We should be involved if we can, Let us be part of the early starters… So we’re very happy that we worked with them [PHILGBC]. Because I think being there at the start and having to push it among all the sectors whether you are a developer, supplier, designer, engineer is very fulfilling. And I think everybody has to be involved because at the end of the day green building helps us… In terms of telling our commitments to all our tenants that we’re also part of the PHILGBC means we know the language that we’re talking about, and we are a fierce proponent for this advocacy.”

Today, The Net Group is a leader in green building development. All the Net buildings are under various stages of certification under the BERDE green building rating system. In fact, Net Lima building is the first certified green building in the country under BERDE with a 4-stars rating. Another property, the Net Park, is currently eyeing to achieve the highest rating under the BERDE green building certification.

Presently, the industry has matured to the point it is no longer unknowing with the importance of green building. Nevertheless, Charlie remains committed to do and have collaborative spaces intended for sustainable development. He intends to gather the best minds among all sectors to come up with possible solutions and improvements for the development of cities.

“You can only move forward once you have a vision.”

Charlie is not planning to stop and rest on his laurels any time soon. For him, envisioning and planning for the development of cities are very significant. As a matter of fact, given the accomplishments that he has achieved, he plans to commit his time to be able to do something in the future to integrate the best planning in greening the cities of Makati, Pasig, and other surrounding areas.

Unquestionably, Charlie is a remarkable person. A groundbreaker in green building development. A visionary leader that continues to inspire the next generation. Advancing confidently in the direction of his vision as he translates it into reality.