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.
(REY PELAYO/UNTV NEWS)