DOT, hotel owners vow to adapt green practices into tourism

February 16, 2016 12:00 am 

By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, Feb. 15 (PNA) — Green practices will soon be adapted into tourism, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said Monday after announcing a joint commitment to ensure a more environment-friendly hotel industry.

This was after DOT partnered with the Philippine Hotel Owners Associations, Inc. (PHOAI) last week to abide by the Philippine Green Building (GB) Code issued by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in June 2015.

DOT Undersecretary Maria Victoria Jasmin, representing DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Jr., lauded the presence of the hotel decision makers during a recent forum, citing it as “strong proof of their commitment” to the initiative.

“Greening the hotel industry provides that one big window of opportunity to sustain the growth of this rising tiger in Asia,” Jasmin said, reading a statement from the DOT chief.

“Through our collaboration with the hotel industry, we can offer cleaner air and a greener environment to travelers, and we help hotel owners bring down their electricity cost,” she added.

Jasmin, who delivered Jimenez’s speech, also pointed out that this development will translate to a more competitive environment for the tourism industry.

On the other hand, PHOAI President Arthur Lopez vowed to make the Philippine Green Building Code on “top of the list” of hotel owners’ priorities.

He also committed that the hotel owners “will improve energy efficiency” of their establishments and will use only “the best technologies and practices”.

According to him, this initiative is only the beginning as he expects this core group to cascade all the information from this forum to their colleagues.

In a previous interview, DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson welcomed DOT and the hotel owners as “partners in greening the tourism industry and making it sustainable.”

Singson described the collaboration as a “major contributor in achieving the country’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) of 70 percent reduction in carbon emissions by year 2030.”

The signing of the joint statement on Feb. 11 was witnessed by representatives of the World Bank Group and the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Issued in June 2015, the GB Code provides a framework of standards that will enhance sound environmental and resource management, including efficient use of materials, site selection, planning, design, construction, use, occupancy, operation and maintenance of buildings without significant increase in cost.

By 2030, the Code estimates to increase energy savings by 3.9 million megawatt hour annually and reduce greenhouse gas emission by 1.87 million metric tons. (PNA)

BNB/ANP

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