BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR) disclosed the air quality within the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) area remains good to fair for the first quarter of this year amidst the increase in particulate matter recorded by the agency’s ambient air quality monitoring machines installed in strategic areas within the involved localities.
Reynaldo S. Digamo, EMB-CAR regional director, said of the 11 existing ambient air quality monitoring machines installed in different parts of the BLISTT area, 8 stations recorded good air quality while the 3 stations recorded fair air quality.
He said two of the five monitoring stations the city reported fair air quality while the three stations recorded good air quality.
In Benguet, the two monitoring stations in La Trinidad recorded fair air quality in the capital town while the four monitoring stations in Tuba, Sablan, Itogon and Tuba recorded fair air quality in the said areas.
Digamo reported results obtained from Camp John Hay and EMB-CAR grounds during the first quarter monitoring were within the national ambient air quality guideline value (NAAQGV) and within the good range of air quality index.
However, he pointed out results at the Mile High Center increased by 21 micrograms per cubic meter from 4 to 25 micrograms per cubic meter as compared to the results obtained during the fourth quarter monitoring last year.
Further, Digamo noted results at the Ayala Techno Hub increased by 14 micrograms per cubic meter from 7 to 21 micrograms per cubic meter and results at the EMB-CAR increased by 2 from 17 to 19 micrograms per cubic meter.
According to him, results obtained at the Plaza Garden monitoring station along lower Session road were within NAAQGV and within the fair range of air quality index and the average results as compared to the fourth quarter monitoring last year increased by 16 from 81 to 97 micrograms per cubic meter.
The EMB-CAR official revealed the particulate monitoring station at Burnham Park resumed its operation on December 20, 2016, thus, data was collected for the first quarter monitoring and results obtained were within the NAAQGV.
He explained the average suspended particulate matter in the air at Burnham Park was 17 for the first quarter which is way below the NAAQGV benchmark of 50 suspended particulate matter.
On the other hand, the ambient air quality monitoring stations in Tuba, Itogon, Sablan and Tuba registered good air quality index in their respective areas.
Digamo urged concerned local governments to continue intensifying the implementation of their various programs that will help sustain the improved air quality in their areas of jurisdiction for the well-being of the public.
By Dexter A. See