Baguio, a highly urbanized mountain resort city in the northern Luzon island of the Philippines, has joined the BreatheLife campaign.
The city of over 345,000 citizens, dubbed the Summer Capital of the Philippines, has set itself the goal of maintaining air quality levels within the “good” to “fair” range of the national air quality index.
Air quality action in Baguio City emphasizes changing transport patterns, waste management practices and energy supply, with municipal-level legislation as its backbone: its development is guided by the City’s Clean Air Ordinance, which is integrated into its Environment Code (2016).
In terms of actions to cut traffic emissions, the city is set to undertake an inventory to determine baseline emissions while conducting ongoing roadside vehicle emissions inspections, testing and monitoring.
The city promotes non-motorized transport through its “Walk, Baguio, Walk” campaign and “walkable” street design that includes a sidewalk recovery programme, the improvement of streetlights and pervious paving.
It is also considering mass transit as part of its Traffic and Transport Master Plan, which is due for updating under the city’s Comprehensive Development Plan.
Waste management efforts are headlined by its “no segregation, no collection” campaign aimed at sustainable solid waste collection. Biodegradables are processed in the environmental recycling system into fertilizer.
The city is putting the finishing touches on its local Sewerage and Septage Master Plan, which will act as a roadmap for future developments, particularly potential public-private partnerships, and to boost access to development funding.
Baguio City has led energy efficiency efforts by piloting the use of LED lighting in all public parks, buildings and city streets. The private sector is encouraged to follow suit through provisions in the Environment Code to step up its efforts: business establishments are given incentives to adopt alternative energy sources like solar and hydropower, and the Code includes guidelines on green building design and the use of LED lighting fixtures.
Baguio is currently working on its air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions inventory, which will be combined with air quality monitoring data to form the basis for a clean air action plan and local climate change action plan. The emissions inventory will determine more precise reduction targets and priority measures.
Routine monitoring is conducted at multiple sites in Baguio City, and this data is shared with the public at the Philippines Air Quality Index Mobile app.
Baguio is one of three pilot cities in Clean Air Asia’s Cities for Clean Air Certification, a voluntary standard comprised of six actions cities can take to address air quality.
Follow Baguio City’s clean air journey here.