Lawmakers Revisit Property Design Laws

Lawmakers have recently started an investigation on the execution of legislative measures relating to design professionals, which includes architects and interior designers, the Manila Bulletin reported.

Under Resolution No. 1668, filed by the House Special Committee on Creative Industry and Performing Arts, the panel will look into Republic Act No. 9266 or the Architecture Act of 2004, RA No. 10350 or the Philippine Interior Design Act of 2021, as well as other laws which govern the design profession.

In line with this, the committee raised the need to review the National Building Code, the Government Procurement Reform Act, and the Natural Cultural Heritage Act.

Laws to Be Amended

Last year, a bill was proposed to nullify the National Building Code and replace it, Business World reported. The pending law is called the Philippine Building Act (PBA) of 2020, which advocates specifically for “safe, liveable, and environment-friendly structures.” 

One of the provisions in the proposed law is the classification system of public and private buildings based on the type of construction, fire resistance rating, use of occupancy, and required track of permitting process. The proposed measure also urges the evaluation of the design and integrity of buildings finished on or before 2005.

After inspections, building owners must secure certifications signed by building professionals. These documents, which outline the state of the building or structure, particularly its safety, must be submitted to local building officials.

Under the bill, there will be a National Building Office to be supervised by the Secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives approved on second reading last March the bill that bans structures that ruin or block the view of national landmarks, as reported by ABS-CBN News

Titled Cultural Property Sightline Act, House Bill 8829 will amend Republic Act 10066 or the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009 once it passes into law. 

Industry Revamp

In the initial hearing of the house special committee, solons opened the discussion on how “adaptive and extensive” existing laws are in terms of supporting professionals who are adapting to the design needs brought by the pandemic. 

They said that an evaluation of the state of design industries is necessary to enable professionals to create spatial designs and acquire quality materials that accommodate the needs of Filipinos amid and after the health crisis.

For its part, the Philippine Institute of Interior Designers said that a partnership between the public and private sectors is necessary to maximize skills and resources in the design industry.

Meanwhile, the Design Policy and Marketing Communications Division of the Department of Trade and Industry – Design Center of the Philippines (DCP) said that their office remains focused on improving human experiences and promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth through design. 

The agency mentioned three strategies in their development plan: “(1) mapping the country’s design industry, (2) using data to create tailor-fitted strategies, and (3) moving the design economy forward by nurturing innovative action plans, sharpening national competitiveness and uplifting Philippine design to a global scale.”

Design Webinars

Contributing to the recent discussions on property design, Lamudi’s first and biggest online housing fair, which kicked off last May 3 and would run until the 31st, is hosting webinars tackling industry trends, from emerging home styles down to plant nurturing.

SoFA Design Institute, the Philippines’ leading educational institution specializing in the art and business of design, will discuss interior styles suitable for home offices and online learning spaces. Since the pandemic, these arrangements have become essential in response to the stay-at-home policies.

Decluttering webinars will also be featured in the online housing fair, graced by a certified KonMari consultant. Related to decluttering, sanitation will likewise form part of Lamudi’s online housing fair webinars. Top professional cleaning service providers Happy Helpers and Clean All PH will be giving the talk. 

Meanwhile, gardening experts from ZassyGreen will discuss how homeowners can start their own garden. At the height of the pandemic last year, plants have been a popular design element in homes, as they provide physical and emotional health benefits amid the crisis. All the webinars in the event can be accessed on this page.

The properties featured in the online housing fair come with unique architectural and interior styles. Property seekers can also get exclusive discounts from developers by visiting the fair at https://www.lamudi.com.ph/housingfair/.

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