Vice President Jejomar C. Binay has invited the top civil engineers of the country to partner with the government to develop climate-resilient and sustainable communities.

            The Vice President, Chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), urged Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE) to support the government’s housing programs during PICE’s 75th anniversary celebration.

            “We are currently exploring a program called The Working People’s Shelter Program, which applies a more intensive public-private partnership to create sustainable communities,” the Vice President said.

            He added that the program allows the convergence of efforts from national and local government agencies to provide the basic requirements of a community, including school buildings and health centers.

            “The Working People’s Shelter Program is an example of how our partnerships should be, where all stakeholders work together inclusively and seamlessly, while mutually benefitting from the program,” he said.

            “I understand that PICE volunteers also extend their expertise to organizations such as Gawad Kalinga and Habitat for Humanity. The Working People’s Shelter Program is forged in the same spirit as these other noble endeavors, and so I am extending the invitation to all of you to join us in giving this program life and momentum,” Binay added.

            He said that building sustainable communities must be done by responding to the realities of global warming and climate change, and that the government is currently crafting policies at the local level that will encourage the use of green technology to reduce climate risks.

            “I am also pleased to announce that the government housing sector has started promoting the use of indigenous and green technology in our construction through the Accreditation of Indigenous Technologies for housing, or AITECH,” he said.

            “I am certain that the members of PICE are one with us, not only in utilizing new technologies, but also in helping us discover more of these innovations that suit our local conditions. This model of public-private partnership will not only make urban planning and housing eco-friendly, it will lower our costs and create other industries that generate jobs,” he added.

            The Vice President thanked PICE for contributing its technical expertise in hazard mitigation and disaster preparedness and lauded the members for their “serious effort to using knowledge and skills for the enhancement of Filipino welfare and the environment.”

            “Through timely and committed public-private partnerships, we can see the housing gap close once and for all, and in the process hit other targets such as employment and the creation of new and strong industries,” he concluded.