Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista formally launched his administration’s “blue” campaign anchored at protecting QC’s air and water quality by hosting a forum on urban renewal on August 31 at the Richmonde Hotel in Eastwood City to showcase some of the best practices on urban development in Metro Manila.
“After getting green, QC is now going blue,” said Mayor Bautista as he continually pressed the national government, especially the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and the National Housing Authority (NHA) to fasttrack the construction of more housing units for informal settler families occupying danger zones, such as waterways and roads-right-of-ways.
“Considering the threats posed by typhoons, floods and unusual weather patterns, I believe our residents along these areas are now ready to be relocated to safer grounds,” the Mayor said.
While in-city housing projects may prove more costly for the government, Mayor Bautista welcomes the development of near-city housing projects as long as these initiatives will not displace any ISF from Quezon City.
The city government, thru the environmental protection and waste management department and the city planning and development office, had invited Arch. Felino Palafox, as guest speaker. Topics discussed by Palafox include vertical urbanism and urban planning, architecture and engineering to avert disaster.
“What we need is adoptive engineering and architecture. And, we should move twice as fast as we can to address the challenges of urban growth, especially in Metro Manila,” Palafox said.
During the forum, Mayor Bautista also discussed the city’s on-going efforts for the recovery of easements and rehabilitation of waterways as well as the various green building initiatives adopted by the city government in its bid to protect the environment. Chief among these initiatives is the strict implementation of the provisions of the city’s green building and green rooftop ordinances.
QC’s green building ordinance, considered by the Mayor as a pioneering initiative, requires the design, construction or retrofitting of buildings, other structures and movable properties to meet minimum standards of a green infrastructure while the green rooftop ordinance requires all new buildings and housing construction to plant and maintain vegetations in their rooftops. Both measures were approved in 2009.
“Typhoons, flooding and unusual weather patterns are nature’s manifestations of how people are harming the environment. They are signals that we must all work together to save our environment, and lessen the impact of climate change,” the Mayor said.
Participants in the forum include Mayors Antolin Oreta III of Malabon City, Angel Cruz, of Hagonoy in Bulacan and Victoria Lim, of Marinduque as well as representatives from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), National Housing Authority (NHA), PAGASA, United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) and real estate developers.