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Air pollution in Metro Manila lessened amid Luzon quarantine

The Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) threat in the country registered a "positive" effect in terms of the air quality in Metro Manila.

According to a 24 Oras report by Raffy Tima on Monday, with the restricted movement of the public and fewer vehicles plying the streets during the quarantine period, less air pollution was recorded in the metropolis.

In Antipolo, Jayson Villarma said the view of Metro Manila in the past few days had been breathtaking because of the clear skyline.

“Malabo ‘yan dati, mausok ‘yong mga building pero ngayon, kitang-kita na ‘yong view,” he said.

Meanwhile, there are no signs of smog at the skylines of Bonifacio Global City and Makati City.

YouScoopers Nathaniel Adam Cruz and James Lagasca shared a before and after photo of the metropolis which showed the big difference of the city then and now.

Former PBA star Doug Kramer also posted his own snippets of the clean skyline of the metropolis from his home last March 21.

“Makikita natin talagang ‘yong drastic fall ng number when it comes to particulate matter, 10 noong ating pollution, ‘yong air quality natin. Would you imagine, umabot pa hanggang 85.18 percent ang drop ng numero dito sa may Marikina.” Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said.

“But ‘yong iba, mayroong na-drop, average kung titingnan natin lahat is more than 50 percent talaga ‘yong na-drop,” Antiporda added.

With the positive effect of less cars, Antiporda said it is high time to consider the proposal of carless days in Metro Manila.

“’Yong air quality natin, puwede pala natin ma-improve kung kahit papaano, once or twice a year eh gawin natin na itigil na muna natin ‘yong paggalaw ng mga sasakyan,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte has placed Luzon under an enhanced community quarantine from March 17 to April 13.

Strict measures, including restrictions on travel and the closure of most establishments have been imposed during the quarantine period.

Duterte also placed the entire country under state of calamity, allowing the government to tap more funds to contain the spread of the virus.

The Philippines has confirmed a total of 462 cases with 33 deaths as of Monday.

-- Ma. Angelica Garcia/BAP, GMA News