Clean Air Asia is bringing air quality training to communities

Clean Air Asia is working to raise awareness about air pollution and improve understandings of air quality and climate among communities in Metro Manila.

With a specific focus on representatives of the private and public transport sector, the “Hangarin Para sa Hangin (HPSH): Malinis at Ligtas, Para Sa’yo at sa Ating Lahat” (Aspiring to Clean, Safe and Healthy Air for Everyone) seminar organized by Clean Air Asia in partnership with the City Environmental Management Office of Marikina and the United Parcel Service Foundation began in Marikina City on October 13, with follow-up monitoring and evaluation sessions on November 24 and December 15.

“We aim to motivate and empower local stakeholders, particularly homeowners’ associations and transport groups, to jump start their own initiatives in managing air quality and participate in activities to address air pollution,” said Clean Air Asia Technical Researcher Erika Macapagal.

“We also want to foster knowledge transfer on air quality education to people who drive, and look into how their driving behavior, as well as fuel and engine efficiency, can impact on the health of individuals and drivers.”

This is important in Metro Manila, with up to 80 percent of the emissions emanating from the transport sector, prompting Clean Air Asia to spearhead the development of an Environmental Experiential Learning Program (similar to the HPSH). The program includes a series of modules that cover Air Pollution and its Sources, Air Quality Monitoring, and Understanding Air Pollution Problems and Practical Solutions.

Participant Belen Atendido said as a result of the seminar, she developed a script that was broadcast on radio as a public service announcement.

“An important lesson learned from the seminar are the things to do and not to do for our environment,” said another participant.

To date, participants have subsequently passed on knowledge gained through the program to more than 600 people. Clean Air Asia is aiming to roll out the program in another local government unit (LGU) in Metro Manila this quarter, and welcomes organizations that would like to support similar programs for other LGUs.