On TIME: Energy woes that plague the Philippines

For as long as she can remember, electricity has been a luxury to 39-year-old Candace Evangelista. Living in the Philippine capital of Manila, the small-business owner remembers the days when her parents would struggle to prepare food and get household chores done with a sporadic power supply. More than 20 years later, she faces the same tribulations. “Now that I am a mom myself — that’s when you really feel it, how inconvenient it can really be.” Preparing meals for her family is a tough job without electricity. Cleaning up afterward is another ordeal. Her business, a tutorial center for schoolchildren, suffers as well. In the summertime, it becomes a sauna when the power fails, so enrollment plummets. The center has a diesel-powered generator for use during scheduled outages or brownouts, but it’s becoming expensive to run.

Like most Filipinos, Evangelista never dreamed that the rolling power outages that crippled the Philippines in the early 1990s under then President Cory Aquino would still bedevil the country. But they have, raising concerns about the sustainability of one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies. In May, at the start of a sweltering summer, Luzon — the Philippines’ largest island and the hub of the nation’s commercial and industrial activity — suddenly blacked out. Six power plants failed. Last month, Albay province’s 1.2 million people lost power for 39 hours  because the local electricity provider, Albay Electric Cooperative, failed to settle its bill with the national power-grid operator. The $93 million sum had been outstanding for 15 years. On Friday, a brownout was announced throughout Misamis Occidental province (as has been done over 200 times since January). The next one: Pampanga, one of the richest provinces, which will lose power on Wednesday for eight hours. Consumers suffer and so do businesses that have to pay workers when machinery and premises are sitting idle.

Read the whole article here.


– Anjani Trivedi

Featured by TIME, 6 August 2013


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On Business Mirror: European builders pitch for green tech, energy efficiency in PHL construction

DAVAO CITY—European companies pitched for more aggressive application of energy efficiency and green technology in construction in the Philippines, and cited the natural environment and abundance of renewable-energy sources to back this technology.

The Filipino-Italian firm ItalPinas Euro Asian Design and Eco-Development Corp. said the Philippines is endowed with the natural fresh environment that could be tapped for natural ventilation of buildings, and the same structures, including industrial and other commercial operations, could be aided with more cost-saving, energy-efficiency solutions.

Romolo Valentino Nati, chairman of ItalPinas, told reporters at the sidelines of the energy-efficiency forum held in this city on Tuesday that green buildings and the application of green technology in other structures “should not scare investors over the addition of expensive materials and devices.”

Read more here.


– Manuel T. Cayon

Featured in Business Mirror, 27 July 2013

On Business Week Mindanao: Green design is cheaper

DAVAO City––Although the green designs for buildings in the Philippines has just started, it is becoming a trend and a good opportunity for Mindanao to go for it.

This was said by Architect Romolo Valentino Nati, chairman, ITALPINAS European Design & Eco-Development Corporation in a press conference held during the conduct of Mindanao Energy Efficiency Forum on Tuesday at the Marco Polo Hotel Davao.

Nati said there is a need to correct the impression that green design is costly saying “we should help correct this kind of stereotyping.”

The design of the building helps ensure natural ventilation as Nati said we need to control the temperature inside the building.

He said the use of aircondition units is 60 percent of the total power consumption and with green designs the consumption of energy can be reduced.

Nati’s corporation has built an eco-friendly mix use building in Cagayan de Oro City where funding was accessed through the Renewal Energy facility of the Bank of the Philippine Islands.

Read the rest here.


– bwm

Featured in Business Week Mindanao, 26 July 2013

On the Manila Bulletin: In CDO, CEC Builds Mindanao’s First Eco-Friendly Building

Constellation Energy Corporation (CEC) is spreading its business interests from renewable power to green architecture by building Mindanao’s first eco-friendly building in Cagayan de Oro City.

CEC’s partnership with ItalPinas Euroasian Design and Eco-Development Corporation (ITPI) has earned both firms local and international awards for their pioneering work in the city.

“Constellation Energy’s venture into green architecture is but a natural consequence of our company’s full thrust in exploring multi-technology RE projects,” said CEC Chairman Jose Leviste, whose firm has RE service contracts with the Department of Energy (DOE) for several geothermal, wind and hydroelectric projects all over the country.

Italian architect Romolo V. Nati, ITPI Chairman and CEO, said the firm’s first project, the Primavera Residences – a P450-million mixed-use 10-story twin-tower condominium – has eco-friendly design features, such as an inner courtyard and a cross-ventilation layout among the units to increase natural airflow and illumination.

The 160-unit Primavera Residences Tower A, which was completed last year, boasts of shaded façades to reduce direct sun illumination on the windows to bring down internal temperature of each unit. The building is equipped with photovoltaic solar panels on the rooftop for renewable energy production.

“With ItalPinas, we put our money where our mouth is by going to great lengths to put up eco-friendly and sustainable building,” said Nati, who also sits as vice chair of Constellations Energy.

Atty. Jose D. Leviste III, president of ItalPinas, said Primavera’s “passive design elements” had resulted in the reduction of 20 energy consumption in air-conditioning expense for their building residents.

Due to its revolutionary nature-friendly designs, Nati and Filipino architects at ItalPinas have received a number of green architecture awards, including one of the “Best Condo Developments” in the Philippines at the 2011 Southeast Asia Property Awards (SEAPA) held in Singapore in November 2011; and the “Special Energy Award” in the 2011 Design Against the Elements (DAtE) global architectural design competition.

Recently, its latest green condominium project received recognition from the Climate Technology Initiative Private Financing Advisory Network (CTI PFAN), whose funding partners include the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Set up in 2009, ItalPinas EuroAsian Design and Eco-development Corporation has partnerships with ICCP (Investment & Capital Corporation of the Philippines) Group of Companies, the leading independent investment bank in the country and the owner of a land development estate in Northern Mindanao; Habitat for Humanity Philippines; Pueblo de Oro Development Corporation; and FODC (First Oriental Development Corporation), a triple AAA contractor specializing in green building construction.


Featured in the Manila Bulletin, 11 July 2013

On Business Week Mindanao: Italpinas champions energy efficiency through green architecture in Mindanao Forum

The designer and builder of Northern Mindanao’s first green building shares its advocacy for energy efficiency at the 1st Mindanao Energy Efficiency Forum (MEEF) scheduled for 23 July 2013 at the Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City.

Architect Romolo V. Nati, Chairman and CEO of Italpinas Euroasian Design and Eco-Development Corporation, will present “Energy Efficiency in the Real Estate Industry” as a ‘first mover’ designer and builder of Primavera Residences, a twin 10-story condominium at the Pueblo de Oro Business Park in Cagayan de Oro City.

“With Eco-Logic Architecture, the global warming and climate change compels us to move towards Energy Plus Buildings which are net producers, rather than net users of energy,” Arch. Nati said.

Read the rest of the story here.


Featured in Business Week Mindanao 07 July 2013

On WRI Insights: 4 Lessons in Renewable Energy Planning: The Philippine Experience

When it comes to renewable energy, the Philippines is one of the world’s more ambitious countries. The country set out to triple its share of renewable energy by 2030 based on 2010 levels. The Philippines has one of Asia’s highest electricity rates, in part due to high costs of importing fossil fuels. Enhancing the country’s energy security and keeping power costs down have been the main drivers for setting renewable energy goals.

While the Philippines has demonstrated commitment to renewable energy, the process of achieving its goals has proven to be challenging. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in collaboration with WRI released a new report today, Meeting Renewable Energy Targets: Global Lessons From The Road To Implementation. The report documents the challenges and solutions to scaling up renewable energy in the Philippines and six other countries – China, India, Germany, Morocco, South Africa and Spain.


Read the story here.

– Sarah Martin and Athena Ballesteros
Featured by WRIInsights, 25 June 2013

On Business Week Mindanao: Italpinas Growing Fruit Trees for Sendong Victims

Green Earth

THE award winning developer of Primavera Residences is extending its advocacy for an eco-friendly lifestyle from design and construction to actively growing fruit trees to help curb global warming.

Last March 16, 2013, Italpinas Euroasian Design and Eco-Development Corporation, joined hands with Habitat for Humanity (HFH) Philippines Community Development/Partnership Department to undertake the planting and growing of fruit trees in two of Habitat’s resettlement sites for Sending victims: Calaanan 2B and Calaanan 3 Extension.

“We are undertaking this tree growing activity with HFH Philippines as part of our commitment to promote a sustainable lifestyle,” said Romolo V. Nati, Italpinas chairman and president. “Beyond constructing the first real green building in Northern Mindanao with Primavera Residences, we wish to share our advocacy for a sustainable lifestyle with other like-minded organizations like HFH Philippines and their home partners who were victims of Sendong.”

“This is part of our mission to create a safe, clean and green environment,” said Melva B. Gontinas, ComDev / Partnership Building, HFH Philippines. HFH Philippines has constructed permanent concrete houses for its home partners affected by the Tropical Storm Sendong flash flood in the two sites. “This is just a beginning, we will continue with the advocacy of growing trees for all HFH Philippines construction sites for a safe, clean and green environment that is resilient from man-made and natural calamities.”

One hundred (100) fruit bearing seedlings of five varieties (Rambutan, Nangka, Guyabano, Marang and Mango) requested by the home partners were provided by Italpinas under its Social Responsibility Project dubbed “Go Green, Plant a Tree”, said Gladys Ivy M. Echano, Italpinas Sales and Marketing Director.

Some 30 of Italpinas’ office staff, accredited brokers and their sales personnel joined the HFH Philippines CDO team for the whole day activity.

“We wish to invite other organizations who advocate a sustainable lifestyle to join forces with us so we can share our vision for clean and green living not only within Uptown Cagayan de Oro but in other areas as well,” said Mr. Nati.

Featured in Business Week Mindanao, 11 April 2013


On Gold Star Daily: Italpinas plan cited among Asia’s top nexgen clean energy projects

A new project by the designers and developers of Cagayan de Oro City’s first eco-friendly building has been cited as one of the top 10 clean energy projects that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions across Asia annually by nearly 1.1 million tons.

Italpinas Euroasian Design and Eco-Development Corporation’s new project was among those presented to investors at the CTI-PFAN Asia Forum for Clean Energy Financing (AFCEF-3) held February 22 at Singapore.

“We are very happy to be recognized among Asia’s elite clean energy projects for the next generation,” said Architect Romolo Valentino Nati, Italpinas chairman and chief executive officer, upon receiving the citation for Italpinas new project which officially finished fourth in the final ranking.

Over 100 financiers, clean energy experts and representatives of financial institutions from across Asia and overseas participated in the Forum. The meeting was organized by the Climate Technology Initiative’s Private Financing Advisory Network (CTI PFAN), a global multilateral initiative dedicated to connecting clean energy businesses with financing and “bridging the gap” between clean energy project developers and investors.


Read the full article here.

Featured by Gold Star Daily, 12 March 2013

BPI, Italpinas partner for Eco Development

The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and Italpinas, EuroAsian Design and Eco-Development Corporation (Italpinas) signed a Memorandum of Agreement to mark its commitment to sustainable options.

Italpinas pursues ecologically-sound buildings by incorporation the use of solar panels, high-efficient air-conditioning system and state-of-the-art design among others.

Its previous endeavor has been recognized by reputable institution as “green and responsible”. Working together for the construction of Primavera Residences Phase 2 in Cagayan de Oro, both parties show “green development” is increasingly being carried out in newer real estate projects.

BPI advances its Sustainable Energy Finance (SEF) by continuing to support the energy investments of its clients. In collaboration with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the four-year old innovative financing appoach funds various efficient and renewable technologies all over the country


Featured by MyBPIOnline, 5 February 2013