ANTIPOLO CITY, Rizal, Oct 23 (PIA) — Laguna Lake Development Authority’s new headquarters and laboratory aims to be the first country’s specially designed “green building,” General Manager and Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection Neric Acosta.
The four-storey structure will have a gross floor area of 5,600 square meters designed to accommodate the agency’s departments, laboratories, executive offices, exhibition hall, library, conference rooms, multi-purpose areas and a cafeteria.
Green design features maximizing natural wind for ventilation (leaving only 69 percent of the building air-conditioned), shallow building widths to maximize natural sunlight (minimizing the need for electric lighting in the daytime) and a rainwater catchment system (providing water for flushing in bathrooms and urinals).
The agency will also be able to exercise proper waste management through its own Materials Recovery Facility (MRF).
Initial designs indicate a possibility of gaining a three star rating in the country’s green building rating system Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence (Berde), LLDA said.
In line with its 43rd anniversary, LLDA held the groundbreaking and dedication ceremony at the 3,021-square-meter lot within the National Ecology Center, East Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City where their new home will be constructed.
Present during the groundbreaking ceremony held October 22 were Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Butch Abad, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Paje, Laguna Governor E.R. Ejercito and Pagsanjan Mayor Maita Ejercito.
The DBM’s support to the LLDA does not stop at providing funds for its own building, Abad.
He added the DBM continuously supports the LLDA to give a long term solution to the current situation of the lake and it is not only the province of Laguna which is affected but nearby regions as well in times where it encounters environmental problems.
Paje expressed his gratitude to the DBM for providing funds and reiterated the need for the lake’s protection aside from its rehabilitation.
“The solution is not in the lake itself but in its tributaries which are directly responsible for its current condition,” said Paje.
The secretary also noted that the Marikina River is now a protected area in order to give further protection to the Laguna Lake.
Laguna Governor Ejercito also congratulated the LLDA on the acquisition and groundbreaking ceremony for its new building and will continue to work with the agency.
“We are hoping that in due time, the flooding in Laguna will stop,” said Ejercito.
During the onset of the previous typhoons and monsoon rains, 19 towns and three component cities were affected by the floods.
The governor also cited that the United Nations identified the Laguna Lake as a dying lake or ‘the world’s largest septic tank’ due to its deteriorating environmental state.
Other attendees include DENR-Environmental Management Bureau Director Juan Miguel Cuna, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority General Manager Corazon Jimenez, Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, Former DENR Secretary and climate change commissioner Heherson Alvarez, Teresa Mayor Rodel Dela Cruz, Pililia Mayor Leandro Masikip, Singer-composer Noel Cabangon who sang the new LLDA jingle, other local and national government officials and LLDA employees.
A mass was held at the site prior to the groundbreaking ceremony in the morning. Loyalty awards were also given to employees who have served the agency from 10 years onwards wherein LLDA Assistant General Manager Dolora Nepomuceno was awarded for her 40 years in service. (LLDA/GGPIA-4A)