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Philippines ranked 69th in latest World Air Quality report

The Philippines placed 69th out of 131 countries in the World Air Quality Report for 2022 from Swiss research firm IQair.

The report showed that based on its average PM2.5 concentration,  air quality in the country has slightly improved to 14.9 µg/m³ from 15.6 µg/m³ in 2021.

However, IQAir stressed that this number was still three times higher than the annual air quality guideline value set by the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Smog is almost constantly hanging over [Manila], exacerbated by the 2.2 million vehicles that clog the streets on a daily basis. According to reports published by the WHO, levels of airborne particles of lead (Pb) are three times than the acceptable figure. Concentrations of PM2.5 have also found to be unacceptably high, too,” IQAir said.

In 2022, Taguig was particularly tagged as the country’s most polluted city, while Balanga City in Bataan was considered as the cleanest.

Citing its 2016 figures, IQAir pointed out that 80% of the country’s air pollution came from motor vehicles, while the remaining 20% was from stationary sources like factories and the open burning of organic matter. Weather was also considered as a contributing factor.

To improve the air quality in the Philippines, IQAir suggested phasing out the use of leaded gasoline, reducing industrial emissions through filtration, encouraging recycling, outlawing vehicles older than 15 years, and banning bonfires where garbage is incinerated.

GMA News Online sought comments from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regarding the matter, but it has yet to respond as of this posting. —VAL/RSJ, GMA Integrated News