Owners of 70 estate agency offices join MDA

Saturday, February 17th, 2018

Parliamentary Secretary for Planning and the Property Market Chris Agius today announced that he intends to finalise the White Paper on the regulation of estate agents with the Malta Developers association by the end of the first quarter of this year so that a draft Bill can be presented to Parliament.

Mr Agius was speaking during the launch of the Estate Agents Section (EAS) within the MDA, which represents the owners of 70 estate agent offices around Malta and Gozo. Since being appointed parliamentary secretary, he added that he had built a strong relationship with the MDA and was meeting the MDA board regularly to discuss how the sector can grow but also how to safeguard the environment.

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MDA offering assistance to members when applying for any type of work permit with Jobsplus

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

Attention all MDA members.

We are pleased to announce that the MDA is offering assistance to its members when applying for any work permits with Jobsplus. This exclusive service will be offered at the offices of Malta Developers Association every Tuesday from 12.30pm to 3.00pm.

Kindly call on 2122 8184 to make an appointment.

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MDA President addresses conference on Launching the CORE Platform

Sandro Chetcuti, President of the Malta Developers Association, took part in a panel discussion with the theme ‘CSR and sustainable development’ during the Conference: Launching the CORE Platform held earlier today at San Anton Palace, Attard.
The other speakers on the panel, chaired by Anton Borg, President of the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, were: Abigail Psaila Mamo, CEO, Malta Chamber for SMES (GRTU); Joseph Farrugia, Director General, Malta Employers Association; Andrew Agius Muscat, CEO, Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association; and (in absentia) Dr Marc Sant, President, Local Councils Association.
The President of Malta, Her Excellency Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, delivered a welcome address and Daniel Calleja-Crespo, General Director of Environment at the European Commission, gave the keynote speech on the importance of promoting the circular economy as a factor of quality of life.
A second panel discussion, with the theme ‘What brings social responsibility and corporate citizenship to companies?’, was chaired by Vanessa MacDonald, Business Editor of Times of Malta. The speakers were: Paula Guimaraes, President of GRACE; Joe Tanti, CEO, Malta Business Bureau; Tomás Sercovich, Board Member, CSR Europe; Jeffrey Buttigieg, Managing Director, REMAX Malta; and Matthew Grech, Director, Smart Supermarket Ltd.
After lunch a third panel discussion, with the theme ‘Trends and developments’, was chaired by Tomás Sercovich. The speakers were: Tomislav Ivančić, Team Leader of Corporate Social Responsibility DG GROW at the European Commission; Sylvain Giguère, Head of the OECD division for Local Economic and Employment Development; Marthese Portelli, MP, Shador Minister for the Environment, Energy and Transport; Leo Brincat, Minister for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Climate Change; and Dr Michael Farrugia, Minister for the Family and Social Solidarity.
The CORE (Corporate citizenship of social enterprises) Platform was launched and an agreement signed between CORE and its counterpart in Portugal. Helga Ellul is the first Chairman of CORE.
This is the full text of Mr Chetcuti’s address:
The notion of Corporate Social Responsibility is one which is hard to define. We all should know, however, that it includes the obligation to consider the interests of all stakeholders and society in general, whenever decisions are taken.
In the case of developers, their decisions are to be influenced by the economic, social and environmental impact of their own initiatives. Indeed, some developers would argue that this is already being taken care of by MEPA and the planning process.
Since the setting up of the Planning Authority, developers have learnt all about impact statements or studies, whether concerning the environment, transport or social effects. One could argue that these considerations were imposed on developers by the laws that govern, the physical planning of our country and the issue of development permits.
Initially, developers did not take to these impositions kindly – they felt that their activities and initiatives were being strangled by people who know how to talk in theory but had no experience in practice. There has been a learning curve and today no developer questions why there is a need of an environmental statement or a full environment impact assessment whenever they put forward proposals that evidently make such impacts. They have realised the necessity of the planning process looking at their proposals in the wider environmental and social contexts.
When the MDA was set up five years ago to the day, many prospective members were still in a quandary as to whether what they only recognised as ‘bureaucratic impositions’ and ‘money wasting exercises’ were here to stay. The culture they were used to could not accept these new concepts and delayed the recognition of the necessity of not keeping on doing things in the same way as in the past. Because, as everybody knows, culture change does not happen overnight with the enactment of laws.
On its being set up, the MDA recognised the need of its reinforcing the culture change that was indicated in the existing legislation. The MDA did not lobby with the authorities to remove the legal obligations that were being perceived as unnecessary restrictions, but sought to educate its members to understand the social responsibility that each and every developer had.
It was only through the mediation of the MDA that developers started having meetings with MEPA officials to discuss policies and attitudes, rather than individual applications. This led to both sides of the divide – as it were – becoming aware of each other’s viewpoint.
One of the first steps that the MDA took after its foundation was to compile and publish a code of ethics for its members. Even here, the code of ethics was also influenced by an indirect link with corporate social responsibility, as in the case – although not exclusively of the rule that states: “Members shall use their best endeavour to encourage developments with due consideration for adequate living space and proper environmental controls.”
The MDA also organised seminars to increase its members’ awareness on health and safety obligations – not just to obey the law but also as a social responsibility towards workmen on site and the general public.
MDA has also been the main protagonist working through the Building Industry Consultative Council (BICC) for the setting up of a system of skillcards so that workmen in the building industry are certified as qualified workmen. This system is supported by MDA members who sponsor their employees to receive the necessary training to achieve their qualification status.
The MDA has also co-operated with the KNPD (Kunsill Nazzjonali Persuni b’Diżabilità) to ensure that issues on accessibility in proposed developments are treated with the necessary diligence that they deserve.
The MDA has also been involved as an association in fund-raising activities in aid of the Malta Community Chest Fund and individual NGOs.
MDA members are also individually involved in contributing to local sports and band clubs, especially in maintenance works of club precincts and sports facilities.
All in all, we are quite proud of the fact that most of our members have taken many aspects of corporate social responsibility on board – but this does not mean that we can stop here. A lot still needs to be done, both at the local and at the national level, and we publicly confirm our commitment to ensure that Corporate Social Responsibility is not just a buzzword but a concept to be taken seriously by us as an association, as well by our members individually.


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