DENR sets standard for monitoring of air pollutants

Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) - April 1, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - To protect Filipinos from particle pollution, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has set a standard for monitoring fine particle air pollutants that can cause serious health problems.

The DENR issued Department Administrative Order No. 2013-13 that sets the National Ambient Air Quality Guideline Value (NAAQGV) for particulate matter measuring 2.5 micrometers in diameter or smaller (PM2.5), a fine particle found in smoke and haze and can affect the heart and lungs when inhaled.

The Order sets the NAAQGV for PM2.5 at 75 micrograms per normal cubic meter (µg/Ncm) for an average of 24 hours or short term, and 35 µg/Ncm for an average of one year or long term until Dec. 31, 2015.

The Order also provides that effective Jan. 1, 2016, the NAAQGV for the short and long terms will be at 50 and 25 µg/Ncm, respectively.

The DENR said that compared to other particulates, PM2.5 pollutants are finer particles usually emitted by vehicles and burning plants. Their small size allows them to stay in the air longer, travel farther, and pass through the body’s smaller airways deeper into the lungs, leading to respiratory and circulatory diseases, cancers and brain damage.

Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said the standards for PM2.5 were issued in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act 8749, or the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999.

“This administrative order was anchored on the basic right of Filipinos to a balanced and healthy ecology, as well as the government’s policy to maintain a balance between development and environmental protection,” Paje said.

He also clarified that the order was not for compliance purposes but to set standard values in evaluating the quality of outdoor air in a surrounding environment, also known as ambient air.

 

AIR DEPARTMENT ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES ENVIRONMENT SECRETARY RAMON PAJE JAN NATIONAL AMBIENT AIR QUALITY GUIDELINE VALUE NCM PAJE PHILIPPINE CLEAN AIR ACT REPUBLIC ACT
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