Air in congested area improves

BAGUIO CITY – Efforts to clean up the environment are intensified with regular programs of the city through the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO), Water, Wastewater Air Ambience Monitoring Division (WWAAMD), it was known in the Alay Sa Kalinisan (ASK) meeting last week.

Aerial particulate materials (PM) machine readings near the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) show “fair” from the first quarter readings of “unhealthy (air) for sensitive groups.” This means improvement, as there are no restrictions for healthy or unhealthy individuals’ exposure outside. Unhealthy air, would limit persons with respiratory diseases’ exposure as it may trigger attacks.

The area near the University of the Philippines Baguio Campus has always been “fair” in aerial PM readings. A slight increase in emission from vehicles accelerating uphill was however noted.

Ratings for air quality ranges from “good,” “fair,” “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” “very unhealthy,” “acutely unhealthy,” and “emergency.” Individuals with respiratory problems are advised to stay away from specific areas, or stay indoors when readings are “unhealthy.”

Add to this are reports of the Roadside Inspection, Testing and Monitoring Team (RITMT) for the month of August where 36 operations were conducted in four areas. There were 405 vehicles flagged, 371 were tested where 157 (42%) failed, and 214 (58%) passed; netting P444,800 in fines and penalties. Other vehicles were not tested, and some were warned.

Salaknib ti Waig on the other hand, had 491 participants from 31 barangays cleaning up the city’s main river, hauling out 331 sacks, or 6.624 tons of garbage. Adoptors and members of the Balili River System Revitalization Coalition (BRSRC) joined the clean-up. Sample of river water from various points were analyzed, to ascertain sources of pollution.

City-led programs such as tree-planting activities also pushed through in watersheds; Camp 7 and Mt. Santo Tomas-Apugan areas where 3,000 trees were planted by city hall employees. Another 27,000 seedlings were planted as part of a mall’s corporate social responsibility, with provisions for maintenance for three years.

The trees clear up air impurities as it holds water and avoid soil run-off, for environmental conservation./Julie G. Fianza


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