BAGUIO CITY – The city’s air is breathable without restrictions for outdoor activities, it was reported during the regular Alay Sa Kalinisan (ASK) meeting last week.
Four monitoring locations; Upper Session road, Malcolm square, Happy Homes, UP Baguio campus; in the air monitoring report remained at “fair” readings, while five have improved and are at “good” levels. These are Mines View, Bell Church, Aurora Hill, Veteran’s Park and City Social Welfare Office area. Two new monitoring locations, Agcon and Bakakeng Central started off with “good” ratings. Less than “fair” ratings, which is “unhealthy,” would have restricted activities for people with lung problems.
Engr. Moises Lozano of the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) wastewater, water and ambient air management division (WAMD), Roadside Inspection, Testing and Monitoring Team (RITMT) reported of 220 operations in 12 city road locations, from May to August; with 2780 vehicles flagged, 2653 tested with 61% or 1622 passing the smoke-belcher’s test. Of the total number, 1031 or 39% failed, while the rest were not tested, the motorists’ warned due to the vehicle being newly overhauled and other reasons.
It was also reported that of the 9,292 vehicles that underwent voluntary testing from May to August, 1,815 or 20% failed, while 7,477 or 80% passed.
It was from penalties, polluters fee, testing fee and voluntary testing fees from diesel and gasoline-fed vehicles that 1,854,950 was deposited into the city coffers.
According to Engr. Lozano, the resulting cleaner air in the city is due to the unrelentless campaign against smoke-belchers, which unfortunately included government vehicles. Regular maintenance of the vehicles are thus recommended. /Julie G. Fianza