By: Isabella Marie A. Zerrudo
ILOILO City is an urban hotspot, but it manages to keep its air clean.
Because of this, the City is set to receive the Clean Air City Award from non-government organization (NGO) Clean Air Philippines on Nov 29, 2017 at the Iloilo Convention Center.
The creation and implementation of the City Clean Air Plan is also a reason for the award.
Aside from the award, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu will also turn over two anti-smoke belching machines to the city government.
Iloilo got a “fair to good” grade for its ambient air quality as reported by the DENR Environmental Management Bureau (EMB)-6.
“I-maintain naton ini nga (fair to good) status bag-o ni siya mag escalate into poor like Metro Manila,” said Engr. Noel Hechanova, City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) head.
Hechanova said awareness campaigns on the causes of pollution and the citizens’ role in alleviating the problem are needed to maintain Iloilo City’s fair to good air quality.
Among the main causes of pollution Hechanova discussed during the Air Pollution Forum on Nov 23 are public transportation and indoor cooking.
INDOOR COOKING A HEALTH RISK
Particulate matters (PM) are hazardous solid and liquid particles suspended in the air. Examples of these are dust and soot.
Fifty-five percent of the City’s PM emissions come from landfills, generating sets, and cooking.
“What is interesting sa sini nga finding (in PM emissions), nakibot kami tanan, ang particulate matter is mainly due to lutuay sa sulod sang panimalay (indoor cooking),” Hechanova said.
Charcoal, wood and electric generator sets were also found to be major sources of PM emissions.
In the Emission Inventory Result 2013 report of CENRO, 83 percent of sulfur dioxide emission comes from indoor cooking.
While Hechanova acknowledged that not all households may be convinced to use Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as an alternative, there is a cheaper option.
“Fortunately, may isa ka kompanya in the Philippines nag-himo sang gagmay nga LPG, gagmay nga daw canister. Subong, they (the company) cooperate with us, ang iya baligyaanay indi malayo sa kalan,” Hechanova said.
Hechanova said he does not promote the product but they must also educate the public on the risk of using traditional cooking methods.
“Ang role gid lang sang City ENRO at this time is, not promote their (company) product, but to help them (citizens) understand nga ang indoor cooking may impact ina sa health, (cooking that is) halin sa uling kag sa kahoy.”