A MANDAUE City official who has been recognized for her green building advocacy vows to educate more people about the importance of conserving natural resources while adapting to fast-paced development.

Araceli Barlam, the head of Mandaue City’s Environment and Natural Resources Office, was recently recognized by the Philippine Green Building Council (PHILGBC), a non-governmental organization that promotes holistic and market-based green building practices and a green building rating system in the Philippines.

A green building is an infrastructure designed to reduce or eliminate the negative impacts of a certain establishment on climate and the natural environment. It should have a well-planned waste management system, energy consumption, and value for the comfort of the occupants.

The PHILGBC has given Barlam the “Women in Green Building Leadership Award,” which recognizes female leaders who advocate the importance of green buildings within the business sectors and the local government units.

She was the sole awardee coming from a local government unit as most of the awardees came from private firms. The award was given through a virtual announcement on July 15, 2022.

Barlam told reporters on Thursday, July 21 that she aims to help more people realize the importance of conserving nature while being receptive to developments, particularly with infrastructures.

Barlam said the recognition was not only for her but for Mandaue City as the first local government unit to fully adopt the green building system following its green building ordinance passed in 2015.

Barlam showcased that in Mandaue City, private establishments are encouraged by the city government to adopt its green building scheme, which entails additional benefits.

Some of the perks she mentioned are the tax credit and shortened process of getting their building permits.

The City also requires all public buildings for a mandatory adherence to the green building directive.

Barlam will also represent the Philippines at the World Green Building Council Asia Pacific Regional Network Leadership in Green Building Awards in Bali, Indonesia, in November this year.

She will present the outcomes and future initiatives of Mandaue City concerning its ongoing green building campaign.