Ramon FD Rufino urges everyone in industry to commit to the green movement
As we countdown to the Property Report Congress Philippines 2016, we’ll get to know the respected market leaders who will speak at the conference on 7 April at the Fairmont Makati
Ramon FD Rufino, executive vice-president of premium office developer The Net Group, has been announced as the main speaker and moderator for the “Going, going, gone green in the Philippines” forum at the Property Report Congress on 7 April at the Fairmont Makati.
For many years, green building and sustainability have been Rufino’s passion. After receiving his Masters Degree in Real Estate Development from Columbia University, he wanted to give back to the industry that has been good to his family.
In 2007, he joined a group of like-minded individuals to establish the Philippine Green Building Council (PhilGBC), with a vision of transforming Philippine real estate. Rufino currently sits as the chairman of PhilGBC.
One of its biggest contributions to the property sector is the BERDE (Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence), a voluntary green rating system that has since been adopted by the Department of Energy and recognised by the World Green Building Council.
“I realised that the greatest positive impact I could make would be through our own real estate development business,” he said when he accepted the Real Estate Personality of the Year award at the Philippines Property Awards 2015. “My personal vocation for pushing sustainability and my passion for real estate development have come together and are now inseparable.”
Today, about 30 projects – all located in Metro Manila – have been registered under BERDE, including several office projects of The Net Group. Plans to introduce the tool to provincial developments are in the pipeline.
Property Report recently caught up with Rufino who shared his thoughts on the the Philippines’ green revolution.
Will green building and technology play a big role in 2016?
Green building will certainly continue to gain traction and momentum in 2016 but we will need legislation at the national and local levels in terms of mandatory requirements and attractive incentives if we want its role in the sector to ramp up significantly.
What is the current overall real estate investment climate in the Philippines?
The strong real estate market of 2015 is poised to continue in 2016. While there may be some softening in certain property types, the overall real estate investment climate remains bullish in terms of robust demand and project pipeline.
Despite the country’s economic growth and real estate boom, infrastructure is a big drawback. Post-elections, will this change?
Hopefully. The outgoing Aquino administration has set up the Public Private Partnership (PPP) platform so the next administration has the benefit of a fresh term to ensure that current and future infrastructure projects under the program are completed.
Tell us your vision for the future of the Philippines’ green movement.
Majority of real estate companies have already integrated green building and sustainability strategies into the way they design, build, and operate their projects as they understand that this is a win for all parties involved. The awareness and desire for sustainability is already strong, but we really need to improve on the level of commitment and action. There are so many areas to work on but our top priority is for more and more companies and projects to secure green building certification.
Aside from Rufino’s green building forum, Property Report Congress will feature sponsors exhibits, plenary sessions, industry overview and outlook, international networking session and lunch, keynote addresses, and a 30-minute intensive workshop.
It will be immediately followed by the Philippines Property Awards 2016 gala dinner and awards ceremony.