Baguio air quality in central business district still good to fair

BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR) disclosed the air quality within the vicinity of its ambient air monitoring system along Lower Session road remains good to fair from April to August this year.

In a letter to Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan, EMB-Car Regional Director Reynaldo S. Digamo said results of the weekly ambient air monitoring at the site show that the ambient air quality in their monitoring station is safe for the general public.

It will be recalled that the EMB-CAR installed one of its ambient air monitoring stations along Lower Session road to monitor air quality on a weekly basis as it is one of the convergence areas of both vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

The last monitoring period was April 22 to August 31, 2016, which showed air quality in the city’s central business district is from fair to good. The area’s air quality in the area is fair during the dry months, especially during rush hours, but it improves to good during the rainy months when particulates are washed down by the rains.

Under the standards of the EMB-CAR, good air quality refers to a reading of 0-54 micrograms per cubic meter while fair air quality falls within the range of 55-154 micrograms per cubic meter. Air quality that falls within the 155-254 micrograms per cubic meter is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups while the very unhealthy air quality refers to the reading that falls within 255-354 micrograms per cubic meter.

On the other hand, the air quality that falls in the reading of 355-424 micrograms per cubic meter is considered to be accurately unhealthy while the air quality is considered to be in an emergency situation when the reading of the ambient air quality monitoring station reaches 425-504 micrograms per cubic meter.

City Environment and Parks Management Officer Cordelia Lacsamana said the latest EMB-CAR report on the ambient air quality within the central business district reflects the gains in the efforts of the local government to further improve air quality.

She underscored the results of the ambient air quality monitoring in the area does not represent the air quality in less populated areas in the city which are usually better than the prevailing air quality along Lower Session road.

It was learned that other areas in the city with established ambient air quality monitoring stations such as those in Burnham Park, the EMB-CAR Compound, Camp John Hay (CJH), among other areas, have always recorded good air quality during the dry and rainy months which indicate that the overall air quality in the city remains breathable.

The EMB-CAR Ambient Air Monitoring and Technical Services Section is now in charge of monitoring the air quality not only in the city but also within the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) area./By Dexter A. See


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