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The Clean Air Act outlines the governments

measures to reduce air pollution and incorporate

environmental protection into its developement plans.
It relies heavily on the polluter pays principle and
other market-based instruments to promote selfregulation among the population. It sets emission
standards for all motor vehicles and issues
registration only upon demonstration of compliance.
It also issues pollutant limitations for industry.
Polluting vehicles and industrial processes must pay a
charge. Any individual, enterprise, corporation or
groups that installed pollution control devices or
retrofitted its existing facilities to comply with the
emissions standards in the Act can apply for tax
incentives of accelerated depreciation, deductibility
of R&D expenditures or tax credits on the VAT of
the equipment and are exempt from real property tax
on the machinery or equipment used to comply. It
also establishes a R&D program for air pollution
reduction mechanisms and technologies. It bans
incineration and smoking in public places. At the
local and municipal levels, governments are allowed
to set emission quotas by pollution source, and the
development of recycling programs is encouraged.
the Philippine island
of Cebu suffered its seventh straight day of haze.
Therefore, it was suspected, although not confirmed,
that the haze was originating from Indonesian and not
local sources, possibly as a result of monsoon winds
blowing north-east from fires in Indonesia towards
the direction of the central Philippines.[44][79] As a
result, some Philippine aircraft had difficulties
the MactanCebu
Airport. Visual Flight Rules in the country were
suspended, so that "only airline operations using
airplanes with instrument flying capabilities are
allowed to take off and land".[80] The Philippines at
first did not believe haze from Indonesia was

reaching the country,[80][81]but later suspected it was

due to the fact that the haze did not disappear within a
day as per the usual haze that is particular to the
region of Cebu City.[44] Gerry Bagtasa, an
atmospheric scientist, however concluded that the
haze in Cebu was both from Indonesian and local
sources due to several factors including effects
by Typhoon Koppu, locally known as Typhoon
Lando, and the north-east monsoon. The interaction
made a pocket of air above Cebu where a visible haze
accumulated. Bagtasa said that the haze had already
reached the island of Mindanao and other parts
of Visayas when it was reported in Cebu but was too
thin to be visible.[82]
By mid-October, haze from Indonesia had
reached Mindanao. On 20 October, it was reported
that the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and
Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) in
Southern Mindanao had been monitoring the haze for
days. The weather body said that haze had been
visible in Davao City since 17 October.Typhoon
Koppu and the north-east monsoon were linked to the
haze affecting Mindanao. Haze was also reported in
of Cagayan
Oro, General
Santos, Iligan, Davao, and Zamboanga.
Haze affected operations of airports in Mindanao and
Visayas.[85] It
was also
in Metro
Manila since 23 October although as of 25 October it
was not linked to sources from Indonesia but to local
pollution. At 12:00 (GMT+8) on 25 October, the
research monitoring station in University of the
Philippines Diliman recorded a PM2.5 measurement
of above 150 micrograms, which is deemed as
"hazardous".[86] There were concerns about haze from
Indonesia reaching Metro Manila and it was theorised
that this could happen if another typhoon hit the

The ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze

Pollution is
binding environmental
agreement signed in 2002 by allASEAN nations to
reduce haze pollution in Southeast
Asia. [1] The
Agreement recognises that transboundary haze
pollution which result from land and/or forest fires
should be mitigated through concerted national
efforts and international co-operation.
As of September 2014, all ten ASEAN countries have
ratified the haze agreement.[2]
Compressed natural gas (CNG) (methane stored at
high pressure)
of gasoline (petrol), Diesel
fuel andpropane/LPG.
CNG combustion produces fewer undesirable gases
than the fuels mentioned above. It is safer than other
fuels in the event of a spill, because natural gas is
lighter than air and disperses quickly when released.
CNG may be found above oil deposits, or may be
collected from landfills or wastewater treatment
plants where it is known as biogas.
CNG is made by compressing natural gas (which is
mainly composed of methane, CH4), to less than 1
percent of the volume it occupies at standard
atmospheric pressure. It is stored and distributed in
hard containers at a pressure of 2025 MPa (2,900
3,600 psi), usually incylindrical or spherical shapes.
CNG is used in traditional gasoline/internal
combustion engine automobiles that have been
modified or in vehicles which were manufactured for
CNG use, either alone ('dedicated'), with a segregated
gasoline system to extend range (dual fuel) or in
conjunction with another fuel such as diesel (bifuel). Natural gas vehicles are increasingly used
in Iran, especially Pakistan,[1] the Asia-Pacific region,
Indian capital of Delhi, and other large cities
like Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Kolkataas well as cities

such as Lucknow, Kanpur, etc. Its use is also

in South
America, Europe and North
America because of rising gasoline prices.[2] In
response to high fuel prices and environmental
concerns, CNG is starting to be used also in tuktuks and pickup trucks, transit and school buses,
and trains.
The cost and placement of fuel storage tanks is the
major barrier to wider/quicker adoption of CNG as a
fuel. It is also why municipal government, public
transportation vehicles were the most visible early
adopters of it, as they can more quickly amortize the
money invested in the new (and usually cheaper) fuel.
In spite of these circumstances, the number of
vehicles in the world using CNG has grown steadily
(30 percent per year).[3] Now, as a result of industry's
steady growing, the cost of such fuel storage tanks
have been brought down to a much acceptable level.
Especially for the CNG Type 1 and Type 2 tanks,
many countries are able to make reliable and cost
effective tanks for conversion need.[4]
CNG's volumetric energy density is estimated to be
42 percent that of liquefied natural gas (because it is
not liquefied), and 25 percent that of diesel fuel.[5]
rain is
a rain or
of precipitation that is unusually acidic, meaning that
it possesses elevated levels of hydrogen ions
(low pH). It can have harmful effects on plants,
aquatic animals and infrastructure. Acid rain is
caused by emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen
oxide, which react with the water molecules in
the atmosphere to produce acids. Some Governments
have made efforts since the 1970s to reduce the
release of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide into the
atmosphere with positive results. Nitrogen oxides can
also be produced naturally by lightningstrikes, and

sulfur dioxide is produced by volcanic eruptions. The

chemicals in acid rain can cause paint to
peel,corrosion of steel structures such as bridges,
and weathering of stone buildings and statues.
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
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.

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 countrys 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 countrys geographical location and its being an
archipelago keeps the countrys 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

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 selfregulation 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
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

What, then, has the country done so far to improve air

To curb air pollution from motor vehicles, the Clean
Air Act requires smoke emission tests prior to
renewal of registration. The DOTCs Land
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
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 34kilometer 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
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 65.7 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 Manilas 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.
P-Noys marching order: clean the air

One of the marching orders of President Aquino for

the DENR is to clean the air not only in Metro Manila
but in all other urban centers in the country. This is
understandable because if go by the report of the
Department of Health that 60%-70% of medicines
sold in the market are for bronchitis, asthma and
other respiratory illnesses, we could say that air
pollution is already taking its toll on our people said,
Paje said.
Thus, Paje said the DENR is aiming for a reduction
by 30% of pollution load by 2011. And since 80% of
pollution load is contributed by mobile sources or
vehicles, much of remedial measures will target
motor vehicles through strengthened anti-smoke
belching vehicles by local government units and strict
implementation of emission test prior to registration
by the Land Transportation Office.
On the part of DENR, it is bent on resolving at least
20% of 500 pollution cases, some of which involve
air pollution, now pending with the agencys
Pollution Adjudication Board.
Such modest albeit significant successes are not a
cause for the country to stop in its quest for cleaner
air. Air pollution levels in the country are still
unhealthy. This is shown in the number of Filipinos
that have cardiovascular and respiratory diseases
directly related to air pollution.
Every Filipino is a partner for clean air. The air
quality principles embodied in the Clean Air Act says
it all: a clean and healthy environment is for the
good of all and should therefore be a concern of all.