^

Opinion

Metro Manila air pollution exceeds tolerable level

ROSES AND THORNS - Alejandro R. Roces -
A recent study conducted by the Department of Health in co-operation with the World Health Organization’s Western Pacific Regional Office show that the air people breathe in Metro Manila contains pollutants in excess of tolerable levels. The worst victims are the children.

Metro Manila authorities will have to employ drastic measures to solve this problem. The way we see it two basic steps will have to be taken: First, is to take preventive measures so that the pollution stops getting worse. Second is to clear the pollution that is already there. It is common knowledge that a strong typhoon helps blow the pollution away. But a strong typhoon is a problem in itself.

The Metro Manila pollution is caused by two things. First and foremost is the exhaust from motor vehicles. Second, the exhaust from factories and even first class hotels in Metro Manila. We still use leaded gasoline which has been banned in advanced countries and, sad to say, it is a very common sight to see cars and trucks that are obviously violating the anti-pollution laws but seldom do you see their drivers apprehended by the police. There are also factories that spew out not only thick black smoke but that dump chemicals into our creeks and rivers, but that, too, continues unabated. Every morning, we take a walk and it is obvious that many of the hotels burn their garbage on their top floors. Manila Mayor Lito Atienza has taken steps to transfer the Pandacan oil depot out of his city. This is because they pose a danger to the entire area in the event that a fire breaks out. That is very true. But the greater danger is environmental pollution. Steps should be taken to slowly move all factories that pollute out of Metro Manila.

We should also look into the feasibility of utilizing other forms of energy such as solar and wind power. These country is ideal for both because we have a lot of sunlight and wind power. Another source that can be tapped is the constant tide in our seas.

Ten years ago, there was an Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro to discuss the ailing world environment. Now the same nations are convened in Johannesburg to discuss the very same problem. As we see, the problem has worsened since the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Will it improve after the present Johannesburg Summit on Sustainable Development?

Metro Manila is one of the most polluted metropolitan cities in the whole world. We may learn some measures that we can undertake from the more advanced countries as to just how to remove the pollution that is already there. But it is obvious that the only perennial answer to the whole problem is to prevent the pollution from even starting. This will take time, but we have to start now.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

EARTH SUMMIT

JOHANNESBURG SUMMIT

MANILA

MANILA MAYOR LITO ATIENZA

METRO

METRO MANILA

POLLUTION

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

WESTERN PACIFIC REGIONAL OFFICE

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION

  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with