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PDI story on school design wins award

Inquirer Learning editor Chelo Banal-Formoso received one of three merit awards at the recent Holcim Journalism Awards for Sustainable Construction for her story on redesigning school buildings.

The story ‘‘How soon we forget: A year after Ondoy, are public schools safer, better equipped for learning?” appeared in the Learning section of the Inquirer on Sept. 27, 2010.

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Top winner in the first Holcim Awards was Anjo Alimario for ‘‘Sustainable construction safeguards biodiversity” published in the Business Mirror.

Other recipients of merit awards were Max de Leon for ‘‘Building green homes in Sandari” and Imelda Abano for ‘‘An indigenous green design.” Both stories appeared in the Business Mirror.

Alimario received a plaque and P100,000 in cash. Merit award recipients each received P50,000 in cash and plaques.

All four winners will go to Singapore in November to attend the regional leg of the Holcim Award for Sustainable Construction.

Chief operating officer Roland van Wijnen of cement manufacturer Holcim Philippines said the awarding ceremonies celebrated the growing interest on sustainability.

He said there was a greater awareness of the issue and a recognition that innovations would come from threats to the environment.

Grace Favila, senior adviser of the board of trustees of the Philippine Business for the Environment and one of the judges, said when their organization started, business and industry were villains contributing to the growing problem of environmental degradation.

‘‘But now industries are in the forefront of the environmental campaign,” she said.

Joaquin Carlos Urbiztondo de Jesus, first prize winner of the Holcim Journalism Awards for Sustainable Construction (Student Category), said ‘‘sustainable construction isn’t only about high-tech construction methods and sustainable materials. It is not only about building for the future. It is also about preserving peoples, their environment… their heritage.”

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He said the Filipino heritage already had the values, aesthetics, methods and material suitable for modern sustainable construction.

Both the bahay kubo and bahay na bato had lessons to offer on sustainable construction, De Jesus added.

He suggested that the country’s construction industry should “move forward into modernity fully equipped with the values and even with the love and respect for the past.”

Holcim Philippines launched the two-part journalism award last year to raise public awareness of and appreciation for sustainable construction. The competition was also in support of the Holcim Award for Sustainable Construction, a global competition that recognizes projects and visions contributing to a more sustainable environment. The contest is spearheaded by the Switzerland-based Holcim Foundation.

Other finalists in the first Holcim Journalism Awards were Roderick Abad, Business Mirror, “The wonders of wood”; Mike Banos, Business Week, “Closing the loop between sanitation and food security”; Alma Anonas Carpio, Batulao Views, “Building green homes in Sandari”; Jose Bimbo Santos, Monday Magazine, “Chasing after windmills”; Kara Santos, Women’s Feature Service (Inquirer), “An enlightening experience”; and Victoria Vizcarra, Business World, “In the open.”

Each finalist received P10,000. Editors of winning contestants also received cash prizes.

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TAGS: Awards, education, Holcim Journalism Awards for Sustainable Construction, journalism, Schools, Singapore
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