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‘Green buildings’ in QC to start earning tax credits by June

Posted on May 04, 2011 07:58:01 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
ECO-FRIENDLY buildings in Quezon City can earn tax refunds for their owners starting next month after the implementing rules of a 2009 ordinance were published last week.
Tax credits worth up to 25% of the structure’s property tax will be awarded to owners of hotels, office buildings, malls, markets, schools, hospitals, factories and warehouses that register for the scheme under Part I of the implementing rules of the Green Building Ordinance of 2009.
Both new structures and those undergoing retrofitting can qualify under the rules. Points will be earned depending on the extent of how green practices are applied such as the use of renewable energy and schemes to cut down on power consumption, manage solid waste and wastewater, and prevent soil erosion. These points will in turn determine whether the tax credit will be 15%, 20% or 25% of the total amount of real property tax due for the year.
It was not immediately clear which types of levies can be paid for by the earned credits although the rules state that these can be used “against a tax due.”
Structures can only be eligible if “the building is actually in service as shown by a Certificate of Occupancy,” the rules state further.
City officials were not immediately available to comment whether the still unissued parts of the implementing rules will cover residential buildings in the future.
In the meantime, for a commercial or institutional structure to be considered a green building, the owner of the facility at the time of construction must file an application for preliminary certification with the Local Building Official first, which should contain the plan to construct or retrofit a facility, description of the proposed facility and its operation and the estimated date of start and finish of construction or retrofitting.
Building owners, the rules said, may also file their application with the Local Building Official after the construction or retrofitting has started but should provide an explanation why the application was not given earlier.
The following will be checked before a “preliminary credit certification” will be given by the technical committee: the proposed retrofitting is feasible, proposed facility shall operate according to the representations made, and that basic requirements  are complied with, among others.
The so-called technical committee will be composed of  Local Building Official, City Planning and Development Office and the Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department to the City Treasurer and City Assessor.
An applicant may still opt to change the green building features of the building project even after a preliminary certification is obtained, through a written request stating the modifications and reasons for the changes, as well as effect on amount of tax credit.
Upon completion of the proposed construction or retrofitting, the applicant may then apply with the Green Building Inspection Unit (GBIU) for a final certification.
A recommendation for approval to issue a final credit certificate is given by GBIU after the evaluation and verification of the building is conducted. -- Louella D. Desiderio
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