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Vehicles are the top contributor to air pollution in the Philippines – DENR

by admin   |   Posted on Tuesday, 14 June 2016 06:30 PM


QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Measures to improve air quality in the Philippines are among the priority agenda at the ongoing 8th Annual Clean Air forum of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The discussion points to vehicle emission as the leading factor that contributes 69% to the country’s air pollution.

90% of which comes from Metro Manila.

Based on records of DENR, the current rate of air pollution has declined by about 20%.

However, it is still more than the allowable level stated in the Clean Air Act.

Based on records of the Land Transportation Office, more than 6,000 vehicles have been added on the road from 2012 to 2014.

“It [pollution] worsens because the number of vehicle is increasing; the population is growing; the roads are getting congested and structures are getting higher. These are some factors why air pollution remains on the ground and not dispersing,” explained Rene Pineda, Partnership for Clean Air president.

In 2013, more than three million developed respiratory diseases due to air pollution but the number has lowered by 29% in the past 3 years.

“It aggravates the respiratory diseases like asthma. And it allegedly cause pregnancy defects,” said Eva Ocfemia, Assistant Director of Environmental Management Bureau – DENR.

The government is now penalizing violators of Clean Air Act through the no-contact anti-smoke belching operation. As of today, the government has apprehended almost 9,000 firms for failing the emission standards and for operating without proper permits.

DENR advised to use cleaner fuel to lessen pollution.

“The Euro2 fuel that we use has 500ppm in terms of sulfur dioxide emission. If we use Euro4 it further downgrades emission level to 50ppm only,” Ocfemia said.

The public may also contribute in reducing air pollution by not smoking, by walking or using bicycle for short distances or riding the mass transport system.

It is also better to recycle your garbage instead of burning it.


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DENR turns on gov’t offices polluting Manila Bay

by admin   |   Posted on Wednesday, 30 January 2019 02:23 PM

After issuing cease and desist orders to private establishments over the absence of sewage and facilities, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is now turning its attention to government offices that are guilty of dumping waste materials into Manila Bay, said DENR Anti-Corruption Office Asec. Daniel Nicer.

The DENR will be looking at establishments surrounding Estero de San Antonio Abad which include Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Estero de San Antonio Abad directly drains into Manila Bay and has recorded 1.3 billion most probable number (MPN) per 100 milliliters of fecal coliform content. These are bacteria found in human and animal feces as well as in decomposing organic materials.

The DENR is currently studying what actions to take concerning government establishments that violate regulations on the proper disposal of waste water. — Grace Casin

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Bangkok officials blast off water streams to tackle hazardous air pollution

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, 25 December 2018 03:40 PM

Authorities use water canons to blast off dust particles that cause air pollution in Bangkok. | Photo by Reuters

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) officials used water cannons on Monday (Dec 24) in areas deemed critical in an attempt to catch dust particles blamed for the hazardous air pollution in the capital city this past week.

“The pollution is mainly caused by the construction sites of government infrastructures – the roads and sky trains – at the same time, the private sector is also constructing high rise buildings along those skytrain stations. Secondly, the combustion from the vehicles. We have to admit that we have a lot of cars and traffic jams,” said Deputy Bangkok Governor Taweesak Lerdprapan in Thai.

The concentration of particulate matter (PM2.5) dust had eased up on Monday with a 24-hour rolling average of 36-56 micrograms per m3, compared to Friday’s (December 21) average of 114-175 micrograms per m3, according to data provided by the city’s Pollution Control Department.

Authorities have advised Bangkok residents to ‘stay indoors’ and added the situation would get better in the next couple of weeks.

Local residents were seen wearing face masks during their morning commute to protect themselves from the current levels of pollution.

“It’s very hazy and grim these days. I feel that there’s a lot of dust. I usually clean my nose frequently and I can feel that it’s not clean,” said 26-year-old Bangkok Resident Suganya Tuwang.

“Yes, I can feel it (health impact from air pollution). It makes me feel… It causes me to have trouble breathing, so I have to use face mask to protect myself,” exclaimed Chanpen Boonkhuntod, also a resident of Bangkok.

PM 2.5 is a mixture of fine particles that can include dust, dirt, soot and smoke. – REUTERS

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Commercial structures mainly pollute Manila Bay – DENR

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, 20 December 2018 05:58 PM

The ugly truth behind Manila Bay’s beauty | Credits to Philippine Images FB

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu personally inspects Estero de San Antonio De Abad  in Manila on Thursday (December 20) in preparation for the planned rehabilitation of Manila Bay.

Through DENR’s water quality monitoring checkers, water samples were taken from that side of Manila Bay which will be brought to the agency’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) to determine the level of fecal coliform, nitrate and phosphate nutrients present in the area.

Cimatu believes the said waterway is one of the main contributors to extreme pollution that’s killing Manila Bay.

The stretch of Estero De San Antonio Abad leads to Manila Yacht Club and the US Embassy.

According to Cimatu, coliform level is at the highest on the Roxas Boulevard side of Manila Bay which reaches to 333M most probable number (mpn).

This is far higher than the safe level of 100mpn recommended for swimming and recreational activities.

“The problem is coming from the esteros in Metro Manila… ang lumalabas kasi ngayon ang ating ano sa Manila bay is 330M (MPN) ang coliform level in Manila Bay. Saan nanggagaling ang mga ito? Dito sa mga esteros na ito,” Cimatu said.

The DENR discovered that surrounding establishments in Manila Bay have poor waste treatment facilities and wastewater coming from them directly flows to Manila Bay causing heavy pollution.

These commercial facilities are specifically located in Taft Avenue to include hospitals, malls, hotels, and even one of Manila’s main attractions – the Manila Zoo.

“The discharge comes from commercial (structures). Grabe ang commercial discharges,” said DENR Usec. Sherwin Rigor

The DENR assessed that Manila Bay will be a massive work to do.

“Check iyong mga establishments diyan. Check their sewage system treatment plant at saka kung meron silang ECC. Check mo lahat ng mga ito,” Cimatu ordered his evaluators.

As part of the rehabilitation, silt-curtains will be installed in every end of the creeks that dispose water directly to Manila Bay to filter the trash.

Residents around Manila Bay will be relocated to nearby provinces specifically to Bulacan and Cavite.

Meanwhile, the DENR warns closure against establishments that disposes wastewater to Manila Bay.

The agency will convene all local executives in Metro Manila on January 15 together will the local officials in nearby provinces to discuss the master plan for the rehabilitation.

The DENR hopes to see improvements in the quality of water in Manila Bay by the end of 2019. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

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