June Philip Obsania Ruiz
Abstract: Climate change disrupts the delivery of health care services. Health care facilities are also leading consumers of energy, with a large environmental footprint that contributes to carbon emissions. Such emissions can be mitigated by using renewable, sustainable and clean energy. This can also be achieved by using materials that reduce energy consumption. Pursuant to the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) No. 11285 “Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act,” Section 33 states that all energy users shall use every available energy resource efficiently and promote the development and utilization of new and alternative energy-efficient technologies and systems, including renewable energy technologies. The Department of Health (DOH), as the nation’s leader in health, has developed the Green and Safe Healthcare Facility Standards and Guidelines, which serve as a guide for health facilities in taking appropriate measures to reduce their environmental footprint. This study aims to describe the process related to the development of standards for a climate-smart health facility and to document the present practices of DOH hospitals. The principles of the standards are aligned with existing national policies and international standards. Some of the DOH hospitals implement green measures such as reduction of energy consumption, rainwater harvesting, energy audits, the use of sustainable materials, handwashing facilities, food safety, green procurement, the use of renewable and clean energies, biophilic design, and healing gardens. The study recommends that more action be taken by the DOH hospitals to develop green and safe (climate-smart) health facilities and that they should also include funding for proper implementation.
Keywords: Climate Change, Climate-Smart Health Facilities, Sustainability, Philippines.