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Bataan leads advocacy towards clean air and clean energy

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Mariveles Aerial
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  • 1 week ago

The Provincial Government of Bataan (PGB) has been at the forefront of environmental protection as it takes initiatives to slow down the effects of climate change in the province.

Since 2018, PGB has been addressing air pollution while striving to uphold the use of renewable energy through diversification of energy sources. PGB has also been beefing up its partnership with private advocates such as Clean Air Asia,  for this purpose.

Importance of monitoring air quality

According to the Provincial Government – Environment and Natural Resources Office (PG-ENRO) officer-in-charge, Raphael De Leon, PGB addresses air pollution through evidence-based decisions. This is why the local government installed air quality monitoring sensors in Balanga City, and in the municipalities of Limay, and Mariveles.

“Our objective is really for public information and awareness. Actually, sometime in March, nagkaroon ng thermal inversion dito. Malaking tulong yung sensors kasi na-alert kami na red lahat ng AQI [air quality index] readings. Thanks to the sensors, na-observe namin real-time ang condition,” De Leon shared.

“Itong health-based warning system talaga ang gusto namin dito sa LGU (local government unit). Isa rin naman yun sa mga recommendations ng Clean Air Asia sa study. This is also why we still want to improve our monitoring system and the implementation of CAAP,” he added.

Provincial Government – Environment and Natural Resources Office (PG-ENRO) officer-in-charge, Raphael De Leon

Provincial Government – Environment and Natural Resources Office (PG-ENRO) officer-in-charge, Raphael De Leon

 

A shift towards renewable energy

“Sa Provincial Government side, ‘yong roof-mounted solar power ang pinu-push talaga namin ngayon. Tulad ng Bataan People’s Center, yung rooftop no’n solar na. So part of our energy consumption, sa solar power nanggagaling. Yung aming command center may solar roofing din, tsaka yung Bataan Peninsula State University, as well as yung ibang elementary and high school buildings,” De Leon added.

Mr. Johnny Mandocdoc, Head of Limay – Municipal ENRO, also expressed his agreement in the pursuit of renewable energy sources.

“Pino-promote namin yung paggamit ng renewable energy tulad ng wind tsaka solar. Kaya dito yung mga streetlights namin solar na,” Mandocdoc said.

Mariveles MENRO Staff Ms. Reshell Concepcion highlighted the need for a strong information, education, and communication (IEC) campaign to ensure the active participation of their communities and a better understanding of the negative effects of air pollution to their health.

“Number one affected talaga ang mga bata at yung may mga health risks pag mababa yung air quality. Kaya ang ginagawa namin ang IEC campaigns talaga para mahikayat din sila na sumunod sa mga polisiya at sumama sa mga initiatives sa Mariveles,” she said.

Mariveles MENRO

Mariveles MENRO

Poor air quality during monsoon months

“Kapag ang hangin ay amihan, dito po sa Barangay Lamao ang takbo ng hangin. Kaya pagdating ng November, December, at January medyo [mababa] talaga ang quality ng hangin na nadarama namin dito,” Barangay Lamao Chairperson Leila F. Cruz said.

Poor air quality can be attributed to air pollution. Air pollution can either come from natural sources such as volcanic eruption or man-made sources due to industrialization. Air pollutants that come from man-made sources can be categorized into three groups: (a) mobile or transport sources such as emissions from fuel-based transportation; (b) point or industry sources such CFPs (Coal Fired Power Plants); and (c) area sources like the burning of solid waste.

Punong Barangay Leila F. Cruz

Punong Barangay Leila F. Cruz

Clean Air Asia’s study 

A study led by Clean Air Asia found that many cases of acute respiratory infections could be avoided if 50% of the emissions from point (industrial) and mobile sources and 100% of emissions from area sources were reduced.

Clean Air Asia’s study conducted in the municipalities of Limay and Mariveles showed that high levels of air pollutants collected from point (industrial) sources were attributed to CFPs and the oil and gas industries with up to 80% share in total.

Glynda Bathan-Baterina, Deputy Executive Director of Clean Air Asia, said, “the measures to address air pollution in Bataan would be reinforced with stronger industrial emission standards in the Philippine Clean Air Act. These standards are currently being revised by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources,” said Bathan-Baterina.

“While we are pursuing more stringent emissions standards in the country, we must also explore different ways to sustainable development such as the just transition to renewable sources,” she added.

Limay Vice Mayor Richie David expressed his full support for the local initiatives of the province and Clean Air Asia in transitioning towards renewable energy to achieve cleaner, and healthier air for the Bataeños.

“Hindi madali, hindi namin kaya na kami lang [addressing air pollution]. Pero salamat sa inyo – sa studies niyo, sa mga initiatives ng local government. Patuloy po naming susuportahan ang inyong campaign,” he said.

 

Contributed by: Clean Air Asia

Article Categories:
Environment

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