UP scientist: gov’t should reconsider activities with adverse effects on air quality

Published May 6, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz 

To maintain the “good air quality” as the “new normal,” a scientist from the University of the Philippines (UP) has appealed to all sectors to use the opportunity to reconsider activities that have adverse impacts on air quality.

“Clean air in cities has become a luxury. Normally, we need to go to the seaside or the lush provinces to breathe in cleaner air. And it took us a total lockdown, a number of frontliners (COVID-19 mortalities) to attain this. Not to mention the trillions lost in the stock market, and jobs lost by our fellowmen. LGU (local government units) funds are depleted to feed the people. We wouldn’t want this scenario again to attain clean air,” said Dr. Mylene Cayetano, an associate professor from the UP Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology.

“If we wish to maintain good air quality to be the new normal, we have to make conscious choices in our activities pre-ECQ (enhanced community quarantine,” she said.

Cayetano, who advocates clean air for all, called on the government to strengthen the long-term and immediate solutions for inclusive mobility, mass transport system, green cities, urban planning, road space to non-motorized transport systems, fuel economy, and clean energy.

The UP expert also recommended more transparency in the emission testing system and proper and rightful apprehension to emission testing violators, as well as setting up of more motor vehicle inspection systems, and ensuring road worthiness compliance to all vehicles.

“Think about protecting our hospital zones, which are located along major thoroughfare with trucks and pre-euro vehicles fleeting along,” Cayetano said.