banner

Towards cleaner air in Bataan

Written by
Towards cleaner air in Bataan
  • Kyra Jean C.
  • 2 months ago

Amidst growing concerns about environmental sustainability, the Provincial Government of Bataan stands out for its proactive measures and impactful initiatives aimed at enhancing air quality and sustainability in the region.

Embarking on a series of initiatives, programs, and projects, the government tackles the pressing issue of air quality and its impact on public health and overall well-being. From innovative policies to community-driven efforts, Bataan is leading the way towards a greener and healthier future.

Facing challenges common to urban areas, Bataan grapples with maintaining clean air amid rapid industrialization and urban development. The need for effective strategies to mitigate the effects of industries such as manufacturing, energy production, transportation, and coal-powered power plants has never been more pressing. Poor air quality not only poses health risks but also threatens biodiversity and ecosystem integrity, prompting the Provincial Government to take action.

Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the Provincial Government has implemented a range of initiatives and programs to comprehensively address air quality issues in the province. These initiatives encompass regulatory measures and proactive programs aimed at reducing emissions and promoting sustainable practices across various sectors.

The Provincial Government – Environment and Natural Resources Office (PG-ENRO) has been actively managing the Ambient Air Quality Monitoring (AAQM) Program since 2017. This includes the deployment of mobile and trailer-type reference stations to monitor common air quality parameters such as Particulate Matter (PM10 and PM2.5), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Ground-Level Ozone (O3), and Sulfur Dioxide (SO2).

ENRO Bataan provides reports to relevant local government units (LGUs), and in cases of guideline value exceedance, offers explanations and recommendations.

Due to repair costs and limited resources for mobile and trailer-type reference stations, ENRO Bataan was prompt to transition to a sensing-as-a-service model in 2023 and deployed low-cost sensors to monitor particulate matter. This approach provides invaluable data for disaster response and research purposes.

Additionally, significant initiatives such as ambient air quality monitoring and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Inventory have been launched to strengthen the monitoring system in the province. These initiatives help identify major sources of GHG emissions and streamline operations for sustainability.

As part of its commitment to reduce GHG emissions and improve sustainability, the Provincial Government is transitioning to Electric Vehicles (EVs) for the government fleet and exploring renewable energy sources for government facilities. Currently, PGB owns and operates seven EVs and has installed solar panel systems in eleven facilities.

Beyond government-led efforts, community engagement plays a crucial role. Through education, awareness campaigns, and partnerships with local stakeholders, Bataeños are empowered to champion efforts towards better and cleaner air.

Clean Air Asia, an international non-governmental organization dedicated to achieving clean air and clean energy in Asia and one of the partners of PG-ENRO, supports the PGB’s goal (1) to achieve its air quality goals aligned with the World Health Organization Air Quality Guidelines and (2) to reduce emissions from the energy sector.

“Clean air is essential for us to live a healthier quality of life in the region. To realize this vision, we need to address the emissions that come from different sources, such as those from coal-fired power plants, transportation, and residential and commercial sectors. Our previous study in Bataan municipalities in 2021 shows that if existing emission standards are made 80-90% stricter, this would result in 83% reduction in Acute Respiratory Infection cases among residents near coal-fired power plants.” said Glynda Bathan-Baterina, Deputy Executive Director of Clean Air Asia.

“An effective air quality management system must be in place, while balancing environmental, health, economic, and social goals towards a sustainable future,” she added.

As Bataan forges ahead with initiatives for cleaner air, the Provincial Government remains committed to pursuing innovative solutions and collaborative partnerships. By harnessing the collective efforts of government, industry, and the community, Bataan lays the foundation for a sustainable and thriving future where residents can breathe easy, enjoy a high quality of life, and contribute meaningfully to the nation. In the face of environmental challenges, the Provincial Government of Bataan serves as a beacon of hope and progress. Demonstrating the power of vision, leadership, and collective action, Bataan shows that cleaner air and a brighter future are achievable. As other regions confront similar challenges, Bataan stands as an example of what can be achieved through prioritizing environmental stewardship and public health.

Article Tags:
Article Categories:
Environment

Leave a Reply

Shares