This story was contributed by the Department of Public Services, City Government of Manila as part of celebrations of the inaugural International Day of Clean Air for blue skies.
“The City of Manila commits to achieve air quality that is safe for our population and will align our climate change and air pollution policies by 2030 to maximize the number of people breathing clean air.”
Hon. Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, Mayor, City of Manila
The City Government of Manila signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Clean Air Asia and 3M Philippines for the “Asia Blue Skies Program” in November 2019, to develop a science-based Clean Air Action Plan for the City of Manila, to boost its current efforts to improve air quality.
To support this endeavour, three air quality sensors have been installed in different locations around the City in the first quarter of 2020, to monitor levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and other pollutants in selected areas in the City. The air quality monitoring data collected, along with the emissions inventory and health mapping results, will be used to better understand air quality in the City of Manila.
The City has also entered into an agreement with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for the establishment of a real-time continuous ambient air quality monitoring station. The reference station, a Teledyne T640 PM Analyzer, is the first of its kind in the Philippines and measures ambient particulate matter in real-time while providing much-needed data for planning and monitoring air pollution in the City.
Other actions to boost air quality and urban liveability include plans by the City Government to provide 1,600 hectares of green spaces, which is a requirement for a livable and healthy City according to the World Health Organization (WHO), through the establishment of vertical gardening and roof gardens. As part of this, Hon. Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso approved City Ordinance No. 8607, or “An Ordinance declaring a parcel of land, known then as DECS property, located at Arroceros street, manila, across the street from Metropolitan Theater and the Mehan garden and beside the Pasig River, as a permanent forest park pursuant to Republic Act No. 5752, to be known as the “Arroceros Forest Park”, and appropriating funds therefor.”
The City Government already has plans in place for the rehabilitation of all parks and plazas in the City. There are 59 parks in the City of Manila with a total land area of 147,330.10 square meters. Some of the parks and plazas that have already been rehabilitated are: Kartilya ng Katipunan, Bacood park, Plaza Salamanca, Plaza Lawton and many more.
Lastly, the City of Manila is tackling emissions from specific sectors, having deployed 115 e-tricycles, inaugurated the Solar-powered Manila City Council session hall, and implemented City Ordinance No. 8371 (also known as the Environmental Code for the City of Manila) and City Ordinance No. 8174 (also known as the Vehicle Emission Control Ordinance). Some of the provisions of the Environmental Code are: (1) Prohibition of smoking in public place and vehicles; (2) Prohibition of incineration or open burning of solid wastes; (3) Industrial air pollution control; (4) Promotion of environment-friendly alternative transport systems; and (5) Promotion of energy-saving practices.