“Creating shared value for society, the environment, and our organization defines the corporate social responsibility of the UAP.”
Architecture should serve the community in a socially responsible and sustainable manner. In order to achieve this, the architecture profession lead change through understanding of human, environmental, societal and cultural challenges and the consequences of professional activity.
At United Architects of the Philippines, we do recognize that our social, economic and environmental responsibilities are integral to our existence. We take our Corporate Social Responsibilities seriously and the objective of this report is to provide a guide for all our stakeholders on the values which underpin the conduct of our organization and our relationships with our stakeholders, allied professionals in which we draw strength. Responsibility for CSR rests with the Board and is managed on a day-to-day basis by the Management Committee. Further, engaging with our officers, members, stakeholders and communities is vital to overcoming challenges and meeting our goals for environmental sustainability, member well-being, and volunteerism — areas that are essential to the strength of the communities in which we operate and to the long-term health of our organization.
Recently, UAP renamed its CSR initiative to “Bayanihang Arkitektura” , which aims to bring a unique combination of a knowledge-base and design skills to address and solve a wide range of issues that face our communities and to further the values of the organization in terms of its advocacy for sustainable design and practices, diversity, and elevation of the stature of the profession of architecture in the eyes of the public.
THE IMPETUS OF TAKING THE CSR INITIATIVE
- Pro Bono Service Activities to the Highest Aspirations of the Profession
The United Architects of the Philippines encourages all of its members, and chapters to engage in providing pro bono services as part their contributions to the highest aspirations of the architecture profession and the organization in service to society. Through participation in whatever format they may choose, every member of the UAP can support and further the values of the organization in terms of its advocacy for sustainable design and practices, diversity, and elevation of the stature of the profession of architecture in the eyes of the public.
Through their pro bono efforts, architects and allied design professionals have the opportunity to bring a unique combination of a knowledge-base and design skills to address and solve a wide range of issues that face our communities. The ability to provide these professional quality services is greatly enhanced by the expertise that architects possess in managing resources (human & financial), time schedules, and understanding the complexities inherent in the required procedures as dictated by national and local governmental agencies and departments.
Architects also bring unique abilities and methodologies through which to apply this knowledge base and set of skills. These include, but are not limited to:
|1||conducting environmental, context, site, and historic structures studies|
|2||translating a client’s needs and aspirations into a set of goals and objectives|
|3||developing a spatial program that serves the client’s needs in both the short and long term|
|4||making building code requirements and other applicable standards understandable to community clients and applying these to the potential solutions to the project|
|5||engaging the community clients in planning and design exercises, thus allowing them to gain “ownership” of the process and products|
|6||developing through various design processes and alternative design solutions|
|7||developing the graphics that provide a “vision of what might be|
|8||developing budgets for physical improvements to existing structures or to new construction|
|9||connecting clients w/ constructors; and assisting community-based clients with working with the public media to help promote the project, as well as help to raise funds|
- The Roles of Architects in Sustainable Community Development
The Architect must “strive to improve the environment and the life and habitat within it in a sustainable manner, fully mindful of the effect of his/her work on the widest interests of all those who may reasonably be expected to use the product of his/her work.” - Article II, Code of Ethical Conduct, 2006
Apart from community members, the built environment is also a fundamental component of every community. The works of the architectural profession, which vary from design to planning, obviously support the physical development of a community. As professionals, architects have responsibility through their own actions for the creation of the community of which they are a part or with which they work. The relationships between people and place as well as people and people are basic concerns for architects.
Accordingly, the roles of architects in sustainable community development can be fundamentally part of the process to stimulate community movement from ‘weak’ to ‘strong’ sustainability. Architects need to integrate the concept of sustainable practices in both their roles. Although they might begin by attempting to balance the value systems of economic, social and ecological factors (‘weak’ sustainability), the final goal should be the creation of a condition where ecological factors are the overarching system (‘strong’ sustainability).
Because architects have to live somewhere, inevitably they are members of the community they live in. Similarly, owing to their actions in creating the physical elements of a community or working for a community, they also have a role in community development. To drive sustainable community development the roles of architects, therefore, are not only as those of being professionals but also of being community members.
In summary, the professional role of architects in sustainable community development can be defined as a process of preserving, improving and creating the required quality of built environment under the particular condition of each community along with professional development to enhance such practices.
The Bayanihang Arkitektura
Derived from the word, bayanihan - which is the admirable Filipino way of helping each other for the common good, this year’s UAP CSR initiative termed as “Bayanihang Arkitektura” seeks to bring the bayanihan spirit into the realm of volunteerism - a strong testament to the Bayanihan trait - making it possible for Filipino architects to help each other and work together toward a common goal as enshrined in the corporate thrust of the organization.
Objective - The “Bayanihang Arkitektura” aims to improve the lives of the community through architecture and planning, craft strategies available to architects wanting to incorporate community service into their architectural practice, assist in meeting the professions civic platform with respect to the social aspects of sustainability, develop diverse initiatives to promote Architect's social responsibility in improving the well-being of communities and promote design solutions that can provide significant positive impact on the underprivileged communities.
Core Projects - The program has three projects which include:
- Architectural Clinic
- Water and Sanitation Projects
- Accessible Tourism
The Architectural Clinic
THE PURPOSE OF ARCHITECTURAL CLINIC is to provide planning, design and technical assistance to low-and moderate-income urban and rural communities, many of whom would otherwise have no access to technical expertise. At the barangay level, architects may render services in collaboration with local government officials and community leaders.
Local UAP Chapters may enter into a Memorandum of Agreement with Barangay Council within their respective jurisdictions and forge an effective venue that will address key issues and concerns regarding the enhancing and developing their respective environments towards efficient building design and sustainability, by providing a professional view of planning and architectural consistency, such as:
- Through its assigned special committee, undertake to coordinate with Barangay Council for the planning, design and improvement of architectural standards to: provide a professional view of planning and architectural consistency; and to encourage projects to restore and rehabilitate government buildings and landscapes within the barangay;
- Assist Barangay Council in reviewing building plans and blueprints, under the following proposed procedures:
- Review within 24 hours the copy of blueprint of each construction project submitted to determine conformity with the National Building Code and its Implementing Rules and Regulations, Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board’s policies and directives; Ordinances passed by the Municipality/City Government and all pertinent laws that regulate building and housing construction and environmental matters;
- Submit to the Barangay Council its evaluation and recommendations on said building plans and blueprints in writing within five (5) days from receipt of such documents
- Assist the Barangay Council upon receipt of its request, in inspecting sites in progress to monitor compliance with the approved building plans so the Barangay officials may take necessary action if necessary;
- Assist the Barangay Council on such technical training and lectures, the conduct of seminars/workshops for the development of Barangay Revitalization and Beautification initiatives that will serve to enhance the physical infrastructure by improving pedestrian safety, addressing landscape and pavement improvements, rehabilitating and beautifying the academic podium, and improving green space and general barangay-wide beautification.
Water and Sanitation Project
THE PURPOSE OF WATER AND SANITATION PROJECTS is to construct safe, accessible, clean and environmentally responsible public school toilets to meet the needs of public elementary schools nationwide.
OVERVIEW. The Philippine public school system is beset by many serious challenges and constraints. One of them is the quality of sanitation facilities especially at the primary level. There is a widespread belief that toilets in public schools are in very bad state. Schools in general lack clean, safe and functioning toilet and hand washing facilities. This is aggravated by the fact that many also have inadequate potable water supply. Some don’t even have toilets in school premises. In fact, in Metro Manila, Education Department figures show an average of one toilet for every 143 high school students and one for every 114 elementary school pupils. For those schools that have, toilets are mostly ill maintained, dirty and unsafe to use or the clean ones are reserved for teachers and school officials. Many personal and anecdotal accounts have borne witness to this condition. This is a very sad state because it affects the health and general welfare of our youth who are supposed to be the future our country.
Studies have shown that children’ ability to learn may be affected by inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene conditions in several ways, i.e., helminth infection, diarrheal diseases and malaria, all affecting school children attendance as well as ability to learn. It is easy to imagine that this situation greatly contributes to the cycle of poverty in the country. Unfortunately, there seems to be a lack of adequate resources to supplement the requirements of school sanitation.
Also, studies show through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) that because of poor wash facilities and toilets, or lack thereof, 66% of Filipino elementary children suffer from intestinal worms, and 97% of 6 year-olds and 81% of 12 year-olds have dental caries. Hence, the importance of putting up wash areas and comfort rooms cannot be ignored.
In view of the Corporate Social Responsibility of the United Architects of the Philippines and its belief that the toilet facilities in public elementary schools are very essential for the improvement of health and education development of the school children, hence, the Iskul Takubets Project will be continued by the current administration which aims to construct safe, accessible, clean and environmentally responsible public school toilets to meet the needs of public elementary schools nationwide.
UAP believes that meeting this goal will be critical for the improvement of health, education and all round development of school children. Further, UAP believes that schools and in particular public elementary schools are equally important places to address the health issues of the children provided that necessary infrastructure is available. Improved health and quality learning are not possible in schools as long as basic hygiene is lacking or sanitary facilities and water supply are missing or broken or not properly used.
THE ACCESSIBLE TOURISM PROJECT AIMS to encourage architects to assess the current level of accessibility in the tourism sector and identify approaches to accessibility within the sector, generate reliable and relevant knowledge about the travel needs of people with limited mobility, and make recommendation to relevant stakeholders on how to accelerate the introduction of accessible tourism.
In 2012, the Philippines recorded 4.27 million tourist arrivals, and the tourism industry employed 3.8 million Filipinos, or 10.2 per cent of national employment in 2011, according to data gathered by the National Statistical Coordination Board. Tourism is a major contributor to the economy of the Philippines, contributing 5.9% to the Philippine GDP in 2011. This should encourage the business community to invest in accessible goods and services and to look into how to design their own products and services for all.
Architects should seize the opportunity to make the commitment to develop sustainable, inclusive and accessible tourism offer and make their natural, cultural and architectural heritage accessible to all, independently of their physical or mental abilities.
This core project will explore the barriers to inclusive tourism and reflect on how these challenges can be addressed to improve the accessibility of information and destinations.