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The Philippine Medical Association (PMA) is threatening to sue owners of vehicles who will fail smoke emission tests.
The reason? Petroleum-fueled vehicles are the top contributors to air pollution in Metro Manila.
Air pollution is among the leading causes of respiratory diseases in the country.
According to a study by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Environmental Environment Bureau, pollution at Metro Manila stands at 166 suspended particulates, which is almost double the 80-particulate threshold set by Republic Act 8749, or the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999, as “Good.”
Dr. Fernando Ayuyao, a pulmonologist, told GMA News’ State of the Nation Wednesday polluted air can severely harm one’s health, as the lungs directly receive the particles in the air around us.
Inhaling polluted air can result to colds, cough, and asthma, which, if become unchecked, can develop into serious respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia and lung cancer.
The PMA recently held a fun run with the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) to step up the campaign against air pollution.
The DOTC reported that it has closed 22 illegally operating emission testing centers so far.
Dr. Ayuyao said that it takes a lot of effort to curb air pollution.
“As individual mahirap labanan ang air pollution. Kailangan ng national, regional, at tsaka international involvement,” he added.
The DENR is aiming to lower the levels of suspended particulates in Metro Manila, whose 11.8-million population is the largest among the country’s regions.
DENR Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Section Chief Emmanuel Gutierrez said that they are targeting to lower the amount of suspended particulates in the Metro air to 90.
The DENR runs 12 air monitoring stations all over the region. Three of these—in Valenzuela, Taguig, and Ateneo in Quezon City—are able to churn in real-time results.
Air in Pasay Rotonda, Cubao, Monumento and Makati, Gutierrez said, are the most polluted in the metropolis.
Aside from air monitoring, Gutierrez said that they have also started conducting on-the-spot emission testing in the city’s major thoroughfares. –Ralph Angelo Ty/KG, GMA News