Metro Manila air quality improving, claims EMB

Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 01 2017 05:52 PM

The air quality in Metro Manila has been improving recently, the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) said Thursday.

"Ayon sa mga datos natin o mga data measurement sa Metro Manila, kung ikumpara natin sa mga nagdaang taon, pababa po o decreasing trend ang ating mga particilates o mga alikabok, dust sa Metro Manila na galing sa motor vehicles, area sources at saka sa mga stationary sources," EMB Director Teresita Peralta said.

Although the number of vehicles is rising, the presence of dust in the air has been declining due to the use of clean fuel, biofuel and biodiesel, which reduce the pollution emitted by vehicles. 

EMB data show 80% of air pollutants are from motor vehicles, while the remaining 20% are from area-specific and stationary sources such as open-burning, factories and construction activities.

"Premix na ang ating mga gasolina at krudo, pagdating sa emission ay mag-expect tayong lesser ang pollution nun," Peralta said.

According to EMB, the most polluted places are those near highways and roads.

The data were based on the monitoring of 19 Air Quality Monitoring System (AQMS) sites throughout the metropolis.

Peralta said more AQMS in other parts of Metro Manila would provide the government more accurate data needed to establish new policies to combat air pollution.

On Wednesday, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the European Union (EU) officially launched 4 additional real-time AQMS sites.

This is a part of EU's SWITCH-Asia program which has a €3.5 million allocation for the Philippine Development Plan.

"Water flows from country to country, air moves from country to country, and we have to work together on these issues to make sure that we get the best world possible," said EU Delegation to the Philippines Ambassador Franz Jessen.

"With this new system, public authorities in the Philippines will be able to monitor air quality, propose actions, protect public health, and formally create air quality measure strategies," he added.

The program has launched a website to make the information and monitoring more accessible to the public.