T he Philippines takes pride in being one of many countries around the world that is an active party to international commitments for the environment -- be it for biodiversity, coastal and marine resources, or to combat the effects of global warming and climate change. To step up its efforts in the enforcement of environmental laws, the Supreme Court has even designated 117 “environmental courts,” and lately, has promulgated the rules for the “Writ of Kalikasan,” the first of its kind in the world.
The country has several environmental laws in existence, consistent with the Constitutional principle of providing every Filipino the right to a balanced and healthful ecology. These include laws on forestry, land management, mining, solid waste management, clean water, and clean air. Republic Act 8749, or the Clean Air Act of 1999, goes beyond “making the polluter pay. ” It focuses primarily on pollution prevention rather than on control by encouraging cooperation and self-regulation among citizens and industries.
It also enforces a system of accountability for adverse environmental impacts to heighten compliance to government environmental regulations. Now on its 11th year of implementation, the Philippines can truly show indicative accomplishments in its effort to improve air quality not only in Metro Manila, but also in other premier cities nationwide. Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Director Juan Miguel Cuna credits these accomplishments to a successful partnership among implementers and stakeholders. The collaboration of government agencies, the transport and industry sectors, and civil society has largely contributed to the improvement of the country’s air quality,” Cuna stressed. The Clean Air Act is primarily implemented by the Departments of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Transportation and Communication (DOTC), Trade and Industry (DTI), Energy (DOE), and local government units.
The country’s geographical location and its being an archipelago keeps the country’s air generally “clean” as ocean winds keep pollution at bay, but not in highly-urbanized areas where air pollution is largely caused by vehicular and industry emissions. Curbing air pollution What, then, has the country done so far to improve air quality? To curb air pollution from motor vehicles, the Clean Air Act requires smoke emission tests prior to renewal of registration.
The DOTC’s Land Transportation Office (LTO) has already operationalized its motor vehicle inspection centers to large transport groups, while the private emission testing centers (PETCs) were established in various parts of the country to provide testing services to public transport vehicles, including private-owned vehicles. Likewise, LGUs and partners from the private sector have been aggressive in initiating programs to combat air pollution caused by vehicular emissions.
No less than five city governments in MM are involved in anti-smoke belching operations to make the 34-kilometer stretch of EDSA smoke-free! Even President Aquino himself has acted as an anti-smoke belching agent, demonstrating an initiative to report a smoke-belching bus to the LTO via text messaging. Some cities have also promoted the use of alternative modes of transport, such as the bicycle for Marikina City and electricity-powered jeepneys for Makati City . Motorcycle manufacturers have also voluntarily phased out two-stroke engines since 2006 to give way to less-polluting model, the 4-stroke engines.
The DOE, on the other hand, has strengthened its drive to use cleaner fuel, reducing considerably the potentially harmful content in fuel, such as benzene in unleaded gasoline and sulfur in industrial diesel oil. It has also promoted the use of alternative, cleaner fuels such as biodiesel blends especially in government vehicles and public transportation. As for industrial pollution, the Clean Air Act requires businesses to undergo compliance testing prior to operation of establishments.
Many companies have also resorted to the use of alternative sources of energy that result in less emission. The DOH reports that the use of cleaner fuels has resulted in a significant decrease in the number of children with elevated levels of lead in their blood, which can lead to disabilities and even death. As yet another proof of cleaner air, Cuna announced that the EMB has monitored a nationwide 30% decrease in total suspended particulates ( TSP ) for a five-year period, from 2004 (145 micrograms/Normal cubic meter) to 2008 (102 ug/Ncm). This means there are less droplets from smoke and dust suspended in the air, but we will still be taking additional measures to further bring it down to healthier levels,” he said, referring to the acceptable standard value of 90 ?g/Ncm. These gains have not gone unnoticed in the global perspective. Perhaps the most significant indication of the success of the Philippines ’ policy implementation is the Environmental Performance Index (EPI), which gauges how close countries are to establish environmental policy goals.
With an EPI score of 65. for the year 2010, the Philippines ranks 3rd in the ASE AN+3 economic region – next only to the much more progressive countries, Japan and Singapore, and ties Australia at 8 th in the whole Asia-Pacific area. Still, the DENR continues to engage in collaborations to further strengthen the implementation of the Clean Air Act. Its link with the Partnership for Clean Air and Clean Air Initiative-Asia Center has led to the “Ligtas Hangin” campaign in 2009, and the forging of the Clean Air 10 Declaration by 300 stakeholders, which empowered LGUs to clean the air and address climate change through partnerships. Indeed, the past decade saw the numerous efforts of both the government and the private sector, including the civil society, to address the worsening air pollution in Metro Manila and other urban centers in the country. At the start of the effort, the problem seemed insurmountable as the level of pollution then was far way above the healthful guidelines of the World Health Organization,” DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje said.
But since then, Paje said, the public-private sector partnerships took a full swing resulting in decline of the level of total suspended particulates (TSP) in Metro Manila’s sky at 134 ug/ncm last year. Despite this, however, Paje said there is still a need to bring down further the pollution level, setting the reduction target of at least 30% by the end of 2011. 1. Control Air Pollution Act Around the World In my research paper, I will be talking about air pollution around the world and what needs to be done about it. People need to be more aware of air pollution around the world.
People need to control what is being used in the world, like automobiles that puts out smoke, or the factories that pollutes the air. The government needs to have people be more aware of the control pollution act and abide by the laws. Once all the people are aware about the control pollution act, the world would be taking control of their actions and abide the laws. The air pollution causes a lot of damage around the world. People breathe in the air pollution into their lungs. The air pollution lingers around the atmosphere. According to U. S.
Environmental Protection Agency (updated 2012) “The air pollution can cause damage trees, crops, other plants, lakes and animals. In addition to damaging the natural environment, air pollution also damages buildings, monuments and statues. ” People around the world need to say it’s time to do something about it. The article about air pollution (1998) stated “Air pollution first became a visible problem in United States after the civil war, when northern cities, swollen by demographic and industrial growth, began experiencing persistent smoke palls. When the air pollution is in the air, the living things like the plants, it absorbs the air pollution into the skin cells and it can damage the living tissue and the growth. For the Animals, it can make them sick and/or kill them. The air pollution can cause the lakes to look nasty and dirty. It can kill the creatures that live in the water and when people go swimming, it can make them sick as well. In the United States the population was growing and more factories were being built for jobs, and more cars