Baguio air quality improving – EMB-CAR

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BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera Office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR) disclosed that the air quality of water in the country’s undisputed Summer Capital is improving  because of the various interventions being implemented by concerned government and the local government to help in lessening the pollutants being emitted into the air.

EMB-CAR regional director Reynaldo S. Digamo noted that based on studies and vehicle counts conducted by their office for a 3-month period last year, there is an average of over 36,000 private and public motor vehicles that ply the city’s existing roads that emit over 73.7 Cubic meters of carbon dioxide daily that only shows that motor vehicles are the primary source of pollutants in the city’s air.

Further, he noted that the agency’s ambient air quality monitoring machine based at the Plaza Garden along Lower Session Road is the only monitoring station that was able to record an unhealthy state of the city’s air in the specific area for a certain period of the day sometime in 2015 but after the putting in place of certain rules and regulations in monitoring the emission of motor vehicles, the air quality in the said area improved too good to fair to date contrary to what is being projected by some quarters intending to ruin the image of the city as one of the preferred tourist destinations in the country.

“I will be unfair to conclude that the results of a single air quality monitoring machine in the central business district will reflect the better air quality in other areas of the city like in the vicinity of the Department of Environment and Natural resources in Pacdal and the Mile High Center in Camp John Hay as well as the Ayala techno hub and the Burnham Park areas. We certainly do not agree to the conclusion that the city’s air quality is getting worst because based on our existing monitoring, it is actually improving,” Digamo stressed.

Engr. Moises Lozano, chief of the City Environment and Parks Management Office Air and Water Quality Division, revealed that when the local government started the implementation of the roadside inspection, testing, monitoring and assessment of motor vehicles, nearly 70 percent of vehicles failed to pass the required smoke emissions in 28 upon the effectivity of the localized version of the clean air law.

However, Lozano admitted that based on existing data from the teams conducting the anti-smokebelching operations in the different parts of the situation, the situation actually made a sudden turn around wherein 70 percent of motor vehicles being subjected to roadside testing actually already pass the test while 30 percent fail which has significantly contributed in efforts to improve the air quality around the city.

He added that a good number of motor vehicle owners have also become vigilant on the emission of their vehicles that is why they go to the extent of undergoing the voluntary testing of the emission of their vehicles at the CPM motor pool in South sanitary Camp.

The local version of the clan air law was enacted way back in 2008 when Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan was not the local chief executive and the same was aimed at intensifying the implementation of local government interventions to maintain the good quality of air in the city, especially in the central business district area where motor vehicles usually converge.

By Dexter A. See

Banner photo by Armando M. Bolislis

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