Air quality monitoring goes upwardly mobile in Marikina City

An electric vehicle fitted with mobile air sensing equipment will become a familiar sight on the streets of Marikina City in Metro Manila in the coming month following an official handover ceremony on October 26 that will enable more comprehensive citywide air quality monitoring.

Clean Air Asia’s Integrated Programme for Better Air Quality in Asia (IBAQ Programme) has been working with Marikina City on the development of a Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) that elaborates targeted measures for emissions reductions. One of the CAAP’s key activities is the conducting of ambient air quality monitoring using mobile measurements to identify air pollution hotspots in the city.

This is done with optical air-sensing equipment developed by Aclima that has been installed in the i-Miev electric vehicle on loan from the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation. It will be driven around Marikina along predetermined routes and at specified times until the end of November.

Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation Vice-President Rene Lampano said the i-Miev, with a range of 156km, would enable Marikina City to accurately measure air quality.

“We requested the DENR to loan the i-Miev electric vehicle to Marikina City, and we believe it will help the city more effectively monitor and assess ambient air quality.”

The handover ceremony at Marikina City Hall involved local government and DENR officials, senior staff from Mitsubishi Motors Philippines, the First Philippine Holdings Corporation, and representatives from Clean Air Asia.

“This is a great opportunity for the city because we do not have the means to conduct such thorough emissions monitoring,” said Marikina City Environmental Officer Gloria Buenaventura. “This is a good start for us to move towards clean air. We’re able to generate important data relating to air quality, and this will enable us to know how vulnerable our communities are when it comes to air pollution.”

Clean Air Asia Director of Programs Alan Silayan said collaboration was at the heart of successful air quality monitoring.

“In all of our partnerships and projects, there is one thing we have found that really works, and that is collaboration; collaboration with the private sector, governments, NGOs, academia. I would like to acknowledge this collaboration, particularly the support that we have from Marikina City, and from the private sector and government partners. This will achieve much bigger results and, ultimately, we can bring what we have learned to other areas.”