The Roundtable Discussion (RTD) on Designing for Healthy Work and Living Environment was organized by the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) through its Engineering Sciences and Technology Division (ESTD) on February 5, 2015 at Hotel Jen Manila. This RTD is the fourth in the series of discussions conducted in preparation for the upcoming 37th Annual Scientific Meeting in July, which centers on the role of different sciences in the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
Invited experts were Architect Anna Maria M. Gonzales, sustainability and planning manager of the Ayala Land, Inc. and Dr. Marilou D. Renales, chair of the Residency Training Program Committee of the Philippine College of Occupational Medicine. Acd. Aura C. Matias, RTD focal person from the Engineering Sciences and Technology Division served as the moderator.
Architect Gonzales discussed green living building design with focus on healthy ecosystems. An advocate of green living and indigenous architecture design, she explained land use and its relation to development as one of the components of green design. She highlighted the importance of integration of natural spaces to development by working with the natural characteristics of the area. Architect Gonzales shared that knowing the context of the location where you plan to build is an important consideration in sustainable design. She also explained the importance of encouraging non-motorized transportation (walking, biking, etc.) and creating a demand for it.
Dr. Renales talked about the promotion of quality work life and discussed common work issues and local trends in occupational safety and health. She cited the prevalence of illnesses related to the increase of BPO companies and contact centers. Dr. Renales recommended promotion of a healthy workplace, which involves creating policies and guidelines and initiating pilot studies to achieve such healthy workplace.
Acd. Antonio Miguel L. Dans, co-chair of the 37th NAST Annual Scientific Meeting, shared insights on the importance of viewing the control of NCDs as a transdisciplinary approach. According to him, NAST hopes to come up with policy recommendations for the President of the Philippines so that our government can embark on this program of promoting health not just by telling people what to do but by enabling them to be healthy. Another is a research agenda on how science can influence the way people live and the choices that they make.
Dr. Michael Angelo B. Promentilla, Outstanding Young Scientist 2013 and assistant professor of Chemical Engineering Department, De La Salle University-Manila, gave a synthesis of the discussion. Acd. Reynaldo Vea, chair of the NAST ESTD formally closed the event. (Aislynn Fabiola G. Manuel)