Clean Air 10 Declaration

We the delegates to the “National Conference on Empowering LGUs to Clean the Air and Address Climate Change through Partnerships,” representing national government agencies, local government units (LGUs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academe, private sector, civil society and concerned individuals:

Recognize that the Philippine Clean Air Act (CAA) of 1999 is now ten years old.

Acknowledge that various organizations have started to implement air quality measures and programs focusing mostly on fuel quality and mobile sources; that while these initiatives have reaped initial gains the quality of air in major cities and municipalities continue to degrade; that air pollution has serious impacts on public health; that there are still areas in the CAA provisions and implementation that require immediate attention such as indoor air pollution and area sources.

Realize the need to continue the initiative of the 5 million stakeholders who signed the petition to enact this legislation; consolidate stakeholder efforts in the next years; renew commitments and reinvigorate efforts to finally achieve clean air; build on initial gains and existing organization networks; propose measures that take into account the close linkage of air pollution with other environmental and social problems such as climate change, tobacco smoke, solid waste, deforestation, vehicular traffic and including poverty.

Do hereby commit to uphold the values of the Ligtas Hangin campaign:
Recognize our common right to breathe clean and healthy air;
Believe that open, transparent and peaceful dialogue can effect real change;
Acknowledge that win-win solutions do exist;
Align activities that support better air quality in the Philippines;

Thereby declare the following ten-point actions (Clean Air 10):

1. We urge the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to create a multi-stakeholder committee to improve information dissemination on clean air technologies by creating and maintaining a database of the technologies verified by relevant government agencies which is readily accessible to the public.

2. We urge the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Transport and Communications (DOTC), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), DOST, other concerned government agencies, and media to come up with a general direction and strategy including core messages to be communicated nationwide (e.g., the quality of air that people breathe, all sources and impacts of air pollution, solutions to reduce air pollution) and a scientific, systematic, target-specific and sustainable monitoring and evaluation system for the clean air and climate change campaign.

3. We urge the heightened collaboration of the private sector, particularly multi-media groups, malls/stores, mass transit systems, to provide free avenues for promoting the clean air and climate change campaigns, as well as professional groups, academe and church-based organizations, to volunteer technical skills for information dissemination and capacity-building aspects of the campaign.

4. We urge the DILG, the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP), and the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP), in the short-term, to encourage local government units (LGU)s to designate Environment and Natural Resources Officers (ENROs) and establish Anti-Smoke Belching Units (ASBUs) or other positions to implement clean air and climate change programs and projects and, in the long-term, to support the amendment of the Local Government Code to make the ENRO position mandatory.

5. We urge the DENR, DOTC, DILG, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Local Government Academy (LGA), LGUs, the academe and other expert groups, to organize technical trainings (e.g., assessing air quality status of the airshed, determining appropriate policy measures to reduce air pollution, engaging stakeholders in planning, regular reporting to the public, translating these measures at the barangay level), and provide logistical support (e.g., emission testing equipment) to airshed governing boards and LGUs.

6. We strongly request the TESDA, the LGUs, engine manufacturers (e.g., Motorcycle Development Program Participants Association, MDPPA), NGOs, and local experts to institutionalize technical training of operators, drivers and mechanics/service centers on emission control measures (e.g., preventive maintenance, eco-driving) and explore with other concerned government agencies the possibility of providing an incentive and penalty system that will encourage clean air compliance and discourage smoke belchers (e.g., mandating preventive maintenance training as requirement for issuance of permit to operate).
7. We urge all national government agencies and LGUs to strengthen implementation by strictly enforcing the provisions of the Clean Air Act, especially anti-smoke belching campaign, ban on smoking in public places and incineration ban and the provisions of RA 9003 (Ecological Solid Waste Management Act) on open burning; to issue the appropriate executive orders and enact the necessary ordinances to address the policy gaps (e.g., control of tricycle franchises issued by LGUs, widen and strengthen roadside apprehensions (on smoke-belching) of Land Transport Office (LTO)-deputized groups, penalizing idling of vehicles, encourage non-motorized and non-polluting modes of transport) and to make regular reports to the public of these actions taken.

8. We urge the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and Department of Finance (DOF) to hasten the release of funds intended for clean air programs and encourage the LGUs to tap existing government funds already provided by law such as:

a) The Road Users’ Tax, which mandates a 7.5 percent allocation for road transport pollution control programs like the current Special Vehicle Pollution Control Fund (SPVCF) with the DOTC. Tap the same road users’ to create a proposed TricyCLEAN fund for the tricycle sector which also contributes substantially to the fund.

b) Extended Value Added Tax (EVAT) share of LGUs, of which 15 percent is mandated to be spent on environmental projects as it is provided under Section 21-D of R.A. 9337, also known as the EVAT law)
9. We urge Local Government Units (LGUs) to create their own local or counterpart “Air Quality Management Fund’ (AQMF), which they may call as the Clean Air Fund for the Environment (CAFÉ). This fund can easily be computed based on corresponding health impact cost over fuel consumption per locality. We also urge both Houses of Congress to amend the CAA provision on the AQMF to make it a revolving fund which is more readily accessible for use to implement clean air programs and projects and to also strengthen their oversight function.

10. We urge the oil companies and related industries, which directly or indirectly contribute to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, to institutionalize their support to clean air and climate change actions by committing to the following:

a) In consultation with the transport sector, redirect the fuel price discounts, which they already grant voluntarily to the transport sector, into a special fund to finance various clean air initiatives and programs of the transport sector;

b) Support a carbon tax or environmental tax on their fuel and other products to fund clean air programs, research and GHG-reduction initiatives such as adoption of clean technologies, reforestation, mangroves and coral reef rehabilitation, and clean air enforcement and monitoring projects (i.e., smoke belching, Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS), emission testing, empowering Airshed Governing Boards, checking other pollution sources like pesticide etc.) Support for these economic instruments is in line with globally-accepted principles such as the Polluters’ Pay Principle (PPP), Extended Producers’ Responsibility (EPR), and the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

We further commit to the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of the Clean Air 10 actions; to urge relevant organizations to regularly report their progress; and, to disseminate these M&E reports; as well as to urge other government agencies, organizations, sectors, communities, and individuals to sign this Declaration and implement their own sector/area-specific or personal Clean Air 10 actions.

(signed on 24 June 2009, Marikina City, as part of the Clean Air 10 Celebration)