BAGUIO CITY – The City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) underscored the city’s air is still breathable amidst a report from the World Health Organization (WHO) that the city is one of the most polluted cities in the country.
City Environment and Parks Management Officer Cordelia Lacsamana pointed out the WHO report was based on consolidated reports way back in 2013, thus, the data gathered then are considered to be out dated and were already overtaken by the implementation of numerous mitigating measures that helped sustain the city’s air quality to be good to fair based on the ambient air quality monitoring of the Cordillera office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR).
“WE remain to be aggressive in the implementation of various programs and projects geared towards improving the city’s air quality and we were able to go so far in sustaining and innovating our interventions that helped improve the air quality around the city. Our city’s air remain to be breathable and appropriate advises have also been issued to individuals with conditions aggravated by pollutants in the air to stay away from the few identified areas that have been considered to be with fair air quality,” Lacsamana stressed.
She added the city was recently chosen as one of the pilot areas for Clean Air Certification, an international recognition of ‘innovative and impactful, voluntary action towards better air quality’ given by the Clean Cities Air Partnership Program (CCAP) through the Clean Air Asia.
The declaration was made during the 17th International Union of Air Pollution Prevention Associations (IUPPA) World Clean Air Congress and 9th CAA Better Qir Quality Conference held last month in Busan, South Korea.
Baguio will join three other Philippine cities, Iloilo City and Sta. Rosa in Laguna, and two cities in Southeast Asia, Malang in Indonesia and Kathmando in Nepal as pilot areas for the certification process before it will be opened to wider participation.
The CAA recognized the five cities for their ‘expression of commitment of clean air action.’
Lacsamana emphasized the city’s leadership is championing unrelenting and uncompromising efforts to help free the city’s air from pollutants because cleaning the air from pollutants would guarantee social, environmental and economic sustainability beneficial to the local residents and visitors.
According to her, the local government has intensified the implementation of the anti-smokebelching ordinance, the anti-smoking ordinance and other initiatives geared towards reducing the pollutants in the city’s air.
Further, Lacsamana disclosed the local government is also being required by the environment department to also monitor the presence of black carbon and dust in the air through the available units of ambient air monitoring to guide concerned agencies in the adoption of polices to strengthen interventions for cleaner air to breath by the people.
Lacsamana claimed the local government was never remised in its duty to work out interventions to clean the city’s air for the benefit of the populace./By Dexter A. See