Fighting air pollution from the ground up in Metro Manila

 

We cannot come up with efficient solutions without understanding the problem

Clean Air Asia continued to bolster the capacity of local communities in Metro Manila to address air pollution in the second of a series of workshops aimed at raising public awareness, promoting behavioral change, and paving the way for long-term solutions that result in cleaner air.

The March 8 “Hangarin Para sa Hangin: Malinis at Ligtas, Para Sa’yo at sa Ating Lahat” (Aspiring to Clean, Safe and Healthy Air for Everyone) workshop in Parañaque City, organized by Clean Air Asia in partnership with the city’s Environment and Natural Resources Office and the United Parcel Service  (UPS) Foundation, drew close to 100 representatives from the local government, transport organizations and barangays.

The workshop, which follows an earlier training in Marikina City in October 2018, is part of Clean Air Asia and UPS’s Environmental Experiential Learning Program, which seeks to improve climate and air quality literacy in communities, as well as motivate and empower local stakeholders, particularly homeowners’ associations and transport groups, in launching their own air quality management initiatives.

The workshop program included a series of modules that covered discussions on: Air and Its Importance, Air Pollution and Its Management, and Solutions to Air Pollution, and explored such topics as emission sources, air quality data, and practical solutions to air quality challenges, including personal energy and driving choices, energy efficiency, the use of cleaner alternative energy options, and the enactment of targeted regulations.

Clean Air Asia Air Quality Specialist Everlyn Tamayo said the program and workshop played an important role in enabling a better understanding of air pollution. “We cannot come up with efficient solutions without fully understanding the problem.”

Parañaque City Environment and Natural Resources Office Assistant Head Isabelo Mojica Jr said the workshop complemented other initiatives already being undertaken to improve the local environment for the city’s more than 650,000 residents.

“We’re implementing pilot programs on waste management that encourage the public to reduce open waste burning and instead recycle PET bottles and other non-biodegradable plastics into floor tiles and eco-bricks,” Mr Mojica said. “We’re also focusing on traffic management, and are educating tricycle drivers about proper vehicle maintenance and the benefits of improved engines for cleaner air.

“Clean Air Asia’s efforts to raise the awareness of community stakeholders on air pollution support our environmental commitments and will have long-term benefits for our city.”