Included in this issue:
AIR POLLUTION CAUSES 3 IN 5 LUNG CANCER CASES – EXPERT
By: Jefferson Antiporda
The Manila Times.Net
A lawmaker on Monday expressed dissatisfaction over the implementation of the Clean Air Act particularly the campaign against excessive motor vehicle emission that remains the leading cause of Metro Manila’s air pollution, tabbed as the cause behind three of every five lung cancer cases.
Sen. Loren Legarda said that while there were reports that air quality in Metro Manila has improved, she personally believes that there is a lot of things that should be done in order to provide the public clean air.
“We need to intensify the campaign against smoke belching and strictly monitor emission testing centers,” she said.
(Please see: http://manilatimes.net/index.php/news/nation/30827-air-pollution-causes-...)
JAPANESE EXPERTS SHARE STRATEGY TO SOLVE METRO MANILA TRAFFIC
By: Matikas Santos
MANILA, Philippines – Experts from Japan have kicked off a two-day seminar with government agencies including the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to share their Intelligent Transport System (ITS) that could provide a solution to the traffic congestion in Metro Manila.
DPWH Secretary Rogelio L. Singson said in a statement Tuesday that “this seminar is a great opportunity to learn and analyze various ITS project and technologies of Japan across Asia and Brazil in South America and identify the most adaptable solution to the snarling traffic in the Philippines that has become a perennial problem.” (Please see: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/277280/japanese-experts-share-strategy-to-s...)
JAPAN'S NO. 1 E-SCOOTER MAKER SEEKING TO SET-UP SHOP IN THE PHILIPPINES
Article from BBC TopGear Philippines
Terra Motors, Japan's leading electric scooter manufacturer, is looking to enter the Philippine market "as part of its business expansion strategy into other Asian markets," following its successful launch in Vietnam and Taiwan.
Terra Motors was established in Japan in April 2010. Two years later, it has become the number one electric scooter manufacturer in its home country, with over 3,000 units sold to capture 30 percent of the market.
Eager to build on its success in Japan, Terra Motors has now shifted its focus to the Asia-Pacific region since the region reportedly accounts for 80 percent of the world's scooter and motorcycle market.(Please see: http://www.topgear.com.ph/news//japan-s-no-1-e-scooter-maker-seeking-to-...)
DENR BANS BACKYARD BURNING OF GARBAGE
By: DJ Yap
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The burning of garbage in one’s backyard is among the common practices the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) hopes to put an end to following an agreement with several cities to minimize toxic emissions from household trash.
The DENR on Thursday signed a deal with the mayors of the cities of Butuan, Bacolod, Cabanatuan, Legazpi, General Santos and Iloilo to formalize their participation in the Integrated Persistent Organic Pollutants Project or IPOPS, officials said.
The mayors committed themselves to reducing pollutants called “dioxins” and “furans” in their respective localities not only in backyards but in their cities’ dumps.
“Dioxins and furans are two of what we call the ‘dirty dozen’ chemicals whose worldwide use and production are strictly covered by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants signed in 2001 because of their long-term serious impact on the environment and public health,” said Environment Secretary Ramon Paje in a statement. (Please see: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/284324/denr-bans-backyard-burning-of-garbage)
PCA JOINS THE LAUNCH OF HAPPY GO JEEPNEY
[header=Issue No. 10]
Included in this issue:
Please see attached file.
[header=Issue No. 9]
Included in this issue:
1. Philippines adopts National Climate Change Action Plan
President Benigno S. Aquino III convened the Climate Change Commission to adopt the National Climate Action Plan in compliance with the country’s international commitments especially to the United Nations Framework for Climate Change Convention.
President Aquino chairs the Climate Change Commission, an independent and autonomous body that has the similar status of a national government agency.
Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, who met President Aquino at the Palace Tuesday, said the plan is about adaptation to climate change and mitigating its impact particularly on the economy.
2. Business World: Climate change action plan approved
PRESIDENT BENIGNO S. C. Aquino III has approved a comprehensive plan to address the impact of climate change that will be submitted to a United Nations forum by the end of the month in a bid to access global aid, an official said yesterday.
Climate Change Commission Vice-Chairman Mary Ann Lucille L. Sering announced that the President had approved the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) yesterday.
“The President has signed the very first plan of the government to address climate change... He wanted to see how these details can be operationalized as soon as possible,” she told reporters in Malacañang.
3. Rich nations 'give up' on new climate treaty until 2020
Governments of the world's richest countries have given up on forging a new treaty on climate change to take effect this decade, with potentially disastrous consequences for the environment through global warming.
Ahead of critical talks starting next week, most of the world's leading economies now privately admit that no new global climate agreement will be reached before 2016 at the earliest, and that even if it were negotiated by then, they would stipulate it could not come into force until 2020.
4. ‘ADAPTAYO’ drive vs climate change gets boost
Recognizing the adverse impact of climate change to local economic development, the 122-member strong League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) on Friday declared support behind the DENR’s call for climate change adaptation to help strengthen the country’s resiliency to natural disasters triggered by “climate change.”
In a Convention Declaration, the LCP has vowed to adopt and support the DENR’s “ADAPTAYO” Campaign: Our Nation’s Call for Climate Change Adaptation during the 3rd Philippine Cities Global Convention and Exposition held from November 17 – 19, 2011 at the Resorts World Manila, Pasay City.
ADAPTAYO is an information, education and communication campaign project of the DENR within its United Nations MDGF1656 Project implemented in partnership with the La Liga Policy Institute.
With the theme: “Bridging Cities, Transforming Lives” the three-day event, participated in by 1,000 representatives from Philippine cities and international guests, aims to empower cities for green and sustainable development.
DENR Undersecretary Anna Teh, speaking before participants of the event underscored the need for pro-active approach to addressing the impacts of climate change.
The said cities, being engines of growth, should be able to hurdle the stumbling blocks posed by intensifying typhoons, massive flashfloods and even landslides or long season of drought, to ensure sustainable growth and development that would benefit the people.
She lauded the LCP for seriously taking into consideration climate change and its impacts to highly-at risk and vulnerable communities.
“Climate change is becoming more apparent and tangible and the devastating impacts, especially to cities and urban center, are increasing in frequency and magnitude. We need to address this challenge to ensure local economic development,” Alaminos City Mayor and LCP Secretary General Hernani A. Braganza meanwhile said.
“As part of the strategy to promote local economic development, LCP believes that climate crisis necessitates the integration of climate change adaptation as a key element in local development planning,” Mayor. Braganza added.
La Liga, a development policy and research non-government organization took part in the cities convention disseminating ADAPTAYO campaign materials and collaterals as part of the exposition which features the best practices and products of participating cities.
5. PNA: 200 join run for climate and economic resiliency
MANILA, Nov. 24 (PNA) -- Almost 200 individuals representing different sectors on Wednesday gathered at the People’s Village in Tiendesitas Pasig to kick off a year-long 2012 campaign to help local communities gain resiliency against climate change and economic challenges.
Organizers said the “Run for Your Life!” Campaign aims to trigger community action towards installing harmonized ecological and economic (“Eco-Eco”) strategies and mechanisms for developing resiliency.
6. President Aquino: Geo-hazard maps to help identify disaster-prone areas
LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines—People can now rely on geo-hazard maps and not horoscopes to divine the best locations for homes and commercial centers, President Benigno Aquino III announced here Friday.
The President, who was in this southern Luzon city to inaugurate the first Climate Change Academy at the Bicol University campus, announced that 65,000 geo-hazard maps identifying disaster-prone areas were being distributed to local governments.
“In order that we can avoid danger, we will not let our people rely on horoscopes—we now have geo-hazard mapping that would identify flood and landslide-prone areas in all cities and municipalities,” the President said in the speech he delivered at the First National Media Conference on Climate Change Adaptation here at the Bicol University.
7. Sen. Legarda: Durban Outcome Lacks Ambition for Safe Climate Future
Senator Loren Legarda today expressed disappointment over the agreements made in Durban, particularly on industrialized countries' commitments for deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.
Legarda stressed the slow progress of international climate treaty negotiations, including the recently concluded 17th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Durban, South Africa, which "was salvaged before its near collapse".
"Industrialized countries have a historical responsibility for climate change and are morally obliged to financially and technologically assist developing countries in their efforts to reduce their vulnerability and adapt to its consequences, while reducing their own greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately, the Durban Platform lacks ambition--political will failed to match the call of climate science," she stressed.
AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT
8. Lead-free paint for city playgrounds
Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim on Saturday ordered a probe into reports of lead content in paint used in the city’s playgrounds even as he directed his officials to search for paint free of the chemical for use in other facilities.
Lim directed his chief of staff and media bureau chief Ric de Guzman and city administrator Jay Marzon to form a team, composed of the city hall’s different units, to conduct an investigation
and to come up with recommendations should problems be found.
Lim cited reports indicating that lead exposure is high if the paint has been scraped and that there is no threat from lead content if the paint is new.
TRANSPORT AND ENERGY
9. Mandaluyong Tricycle Upgrading Program gets P1M boost
A micro-financing program in Mandaluyong City has successfully assisted drivers to replace two-stroke tricycles with four-stroke engines. In 2009, twenty tricycle drivers each received an interest-free loan from a revolving fund provided by the Petroleum Institute of the Philippines through the Partnership for Clean Air (PCA), a CAI-Asia Country Network in the Philippines.
Fund management of the capital investment provided by the Petroleum Institute of the Philippines is handled by the Rizal Technological University – Kawani Multi-purpose Cooperative (RTU-KMPC). Drivers’ training on preventive maintenance and technical assistance was provided by the Don Bosco Technological College.
10. DENR, partners strengthen campaign vs smoke belchers
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is stepping up its campaign against air pollution in Metro Manila, and has gained more partners to do it.
The step-up campaign was launched Friday (Dec. 9) at the Sulo Hotel with the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) among the DENR, represented by Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje; Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) represented by Undersecretary Oscar Moncupa, and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Other signatories were Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino, Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) Chairman Herman Basbaño, Philippine Medical Association (PMA) President Dr. Oscar Tinio, Pateros Mayor Jaime Cruz Medina and representatives of the other 16 local government units of Metro Manila.
11. PCA Board holds Operational Planning Session
The PCA Board held a Planning Session in Kuhala Bay Resort at Cardona, Rizal on December 12 – 13, 2011. Almost all the members of the Board attended the two-day session facilitated by Ms. Marie Marciano of SALIKA.
The Board came up with strategies on how to raise resources and implement projects. To facilitate monitoring of programs, the Board clustered the plan into four, namely: Organizational Sustainability, Policy Advocacy, Demonstration Projects and Ensuring the Niche of PCA as the Coordinating Network for Clean Air Concerns. Among the distinct projects mentioned are: ensuring Environmentally Sustainable Transport that includes: Non-Motorized Transport System (NMT), Walkability and the Technology Appropriate Tricycles. The Board also acknowledged the need to look into the impacts of LPG on public health.
[header=Issue No. 8]
1. Gov’t. Studying Plans For Skyway On EDSA
MANILA, Philippines - To decongest the flow of traffic on EDSA, why not build an elevated highway over it or dig a tunnel under it?
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is exploring the possibility of building an elevated highway over the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) or digging a tunnel under EDSA to ease traffic congestion on the major thoroughfare.
During a hearing of the Senate finance committee yesterday on the department’s proposed P125-billion budget for 2012, Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson said the plan is still in “a very preliminary stage” but may be started next year if preparations go as scheduled.
2. Bolivia Bans Cars For 'Day Of The Pedestrian'
Empty of cars, the streets were turned into playgrounds for street artists, performers and exercise instructors.
Cars and buses were taken off the streets of Bolivia as the country held its first "National Day of the Pedestrian".
All motorised vehicles, including public transport, were banned in cities across the country on Sunday.
Bolivia's government says it wants to raise awareness about the environment.
3. DOST-funded R&D Project Develops Cheaper Air Pollution Sensor
Researchers fine-tune instrument to help bring down cost of air quality monitoring.
Air pollution is a major concern in the Philippines, with air quality in urban cities getting worse because of the growing concentration of people, traffic and industries.
In Metro Manila, for instance, pollution levels along major thoroughfares are very high. Last year, the air quality monitoring (AQM) stations in EDSA-MRT Pasay and Valenzuela City recorded total suspended particles (TSP) levels of 230 micrograms per normal cubic meter (ug/Ncm). This is more than double the normal standard, which is 90ug/Ncm.
4. MANILA COUNCILOR SAYS NO TO INCINERATORS
MANILA, Philippines—A Manila city councilor has expressed his “vehement opposition” to the use of incinerators to manage garbage in overflowing sanitary landfills.
Reacting to reports that the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority is mulling bringing back incinerators to handle Metro Manila’s garbage problems, second district Councilor Numero Lim wrote a draft resolution urging his peers to nip that plan in the bud.
In his resolution set to be presented during Tuesday’s council session, Lim warned of the repercussions of having incinerators in the city, citing the high level of pollution that could result from the carbon dioxide and toxic gas emissions.
5. Manila Council Lauded For Thumbing Down Incinerators
Environment health leaders commended the Manila City Council for unanimously passing yesterday a resolution that effectively nipped in the bud proposal to burn Metro Manila’s trash.
Through a resolution sponsored by Councilor Numero Lim of Manila’s second district, councilors from various political blocs expressed "strong and vehement opposition" to the use of incinerators for garbage disposal as proposed by the Metro Manila Development Authority.
The City Council cited health, environmental and economic reasons for rejecting incinerators, adding "that these devices are notoriously expensive because of the energy required to burn garbage."
In lieu of incineration, the City Council urged the government to enforce “with vigor and political will” proven waste prevention and reduction measures such as source separation, reusing, recycling and composting.
6. Solon Urges Government To Promote Bikes As Alternative Transportation
Writer: Lorelei V. Castillo, MRS-PRIB
A lawmaker is urging the government and the private sector to promote bicycles as an alternative mode of transportation.
Rep. Carmelo Lazatin (1st District, Pampanga), author of House Bill 5335, said the aim of the bill is to encourage the government and the private sector to focus on instituting a serious program in promoting bicycle use.
"The government lacks a serious program to promote bicycle use despite the many benefits it brings, not only to health, but to the economy and environment as well," Lazatin said.
7. Pasay Joins ‘No-Plastic’ Bags Drive
The Pasay City council has passed an ordinance banning the use of plastic bags in retail stores.
Pasay is the second city in Metro Manila to take the step in protecting the environment by promoting the use of recyclable paper bags and reusable and compostable bags.
The ordinance will take effect in October 2012 to give time for affected stakeholders, especially store owners, to comply with requirements. It was authored by Vice Mayor Marlon Pesebre.
The ordinance seeks to minimize plastic pollution in the city and reduce its expenditure on solid waste management disposal.
8. Antipolo bans Styrofoam, plastic bags
ANTIPOLO CITY, Philippines — Business establishments are now required to adhere to the local government’s policy on the ban on the use of Styrofoam as packaging and the regulation on the use of plastic bags in this city.
This came as the two-year moratorium on City Ordinance 2009-370, which prohibits the use of plastic bags on dry goods and regulates its utilization on wet goods and prohibits the use of Styrofoam in the city, ended on Nov. 3, 2011.
Based on the ordinance, which has been disseminated to the public through the city’s Public Information Office, the use and storage of Styrofoam as containers for food, produce and other products shall now be illegal.
9. Drivers, Passengers Say Something’s Very Wrong With LPG-Fueled Taxis
Alexander de la Rosa started driving taxis for a living in 1983. At age 48, he says he’s healthy and doesn’t drink alcohol. “I smoke cigarettes, but not a lot.”
Two years ago, he switched to driving a taxi that used LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) as fuel because it was a lot cheaper than regular gasoline. It was an experience, he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer, that landed him in the hospital.
Alfonso Tatad has been a cab driver since 1965. He says he doesn’t have any vice. At 67, he looks trim and fit—except that he seems to be catching his breath while talking.
“I got asthma because of driving an LPG taxi,” he says, showing an antiasthma inhaler.
10. EAGLE EYES – Dean Tony La Viña: A transportation, not a traffic crisis
Last week was good for someone like me, who is both an academic and practitioner in the field of governance. It was a week of learning from experiences all over the world in the area of urban development and transportation. This was because of three visitors from the United States of America -- Benjamin de la Peña and Amira Ibrahim of Rockefeller Foundation (a U.S.-based philanthropic organization that supports work that expands opportunity and strengthens resilience to social, economic, health and environmental challenges) and Susan Zielenski, the Managing Director of SMART (Sustainable Mobility and Accessibility Research and Transformation), a project of the Transportation Research Institute and the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning in the University of Michigan. They were here as partners of the Ateneo School of Government (ASoG) who is undertaking a study on transportation and mobility in Metro Manila.
[header=Issue No. 7]
• PCA NEWS
PCA elected the new members of its Board of Trustees during the General Assembly on June 14, 2011. Those elected to office are:
Due to the resignation of former Usec. Dante Velasco, we are waiting for Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas to appoint the DOTC Ex-oficio representative.
The New Board will elect its Officers during the PCA Board Meeting on July 21, 2011.
• AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT
METRO MANILA SMOKING BAN LAUDED
Saturday, July 2, 2011
ENVIRONMENT and public health advocates urged millions of Metro Manila residents to support the anti-smoking and littering campaign in the metropolis.
Both the EcoWaste Coalition and Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Alliance Philippines (FCAP) said the smoke-free goal for Manila by 2012 will help prevent tobacco-related diseases among residents as well as transients.
This will further reduce the volume of toxic-laden cigarette butts that are tossed onto streets and street gutters, canals and rivers, the groups said.
The metrowide ban on smoking in public places started last Friday, after a month-long information drive that saw environmental enforcers of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) issuing warnings to 8,792 violators.
As of 6 p.m. Friday, the MMDA has apprehended 249 people for violation of the smoking ban and 189 for anti-littering.
First time offenders will be fined with P500 or eight hours of community service if they are unable to pay. A third offense carries a fine of P10,000.
Earlier, the Philippine Medical Association vowed to send doctors to the streets to inform the public about the hazards of smoking.
SUN STAR CEBU EDITORIAL: CLEARING THE AIR
Sunday, July 10, 2011
TAKING several deep breaths is a risk these days.
That’s partly due to the need to resurrect Republic Act (RA) 9211, or the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003.
Prohibiting smoking in public places, RA 9211 needs serious enforcement. Many get away with lighting up and puffing away in jeepneys and other public utility vehicles (PUV), as well as bus and vehicles-for-hire (V-hire) terminals.
Due to the lack of intervention by drivers or security personnel, members of the public either move away from or fruitlessly argue with the smoker to put out their cigarette.
It’s a noxious situation, given the findings of the Department of Health (DOH) 7 that there’s an increasing number of Filipinos “developing and dying from” lung cancer, according to Rebelander S. Basilan’s July 8 report in Sun.Star Cebu.
Schools should be on the frontline of killing the high-risk, addicting habit of “lighting up.”
Basilan reported that the Department of Education (DepEd) 7 officials recently vowed to suspend or dismiss students, teachers or non-teaching personnel caught smoking inside campuses.
According to anecdotes of parents and other students, smoking is particularly rampant among those enrolled in night high schools. Authorities should monitor rest-rooms, gyms and unused classrooms for students loitering to smoke or carry out prohibited acts.
To add teeth to the schools’ enforcement of the smoking ban are two institutions. Parents and other adults should set the example. In 2009, the first Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) established that “almost half of Filipinos,” or 48.8 percent of those surveyed, inhale tobacco smoke at home. Of the surveyed group, 54 percent, representing 32.9 million of the population, said someone smokes at home, reported mb.com.ph.
Despite Filipinos’ high exposure to anti-smoking campaigns and their reportedly high levels of knowledge, attitude and practice to nicotine’s ill effects, smoking remains popular. This can be blamed on the easy access to cigarettes.
PRESS RELEASE: UN PANEL CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE SUSPENSION OF COAL POWER PROJECTS IN THE CDM
UN Panel Calls for Immediate Suspension of Coal Power Projects in the CDM 7 July 2011, Marrakesh, Morocco. In a note published yesterday, a UN panel of technical experts called to immediately suspend coal projects under the Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM) after an analysis revealed that current rules could lead to millions of artificial carbon credits. The CDM Executive Board is expected to make a decision at its upcoming meeting beginning 11 July in Marrakesh.
The CDM Methodology Panel is recommending that the CDM Executive Board suspend the super critical coal methodology (ACM0013) on the grounds that it significantly inflates baseline emissions. These inflated baselines could lead to a potentially serious overstatement of emission reductions from those projects and the issuance of carbon credits that don’t reflect real-world reductions. The analysis by the Methodology Panel shows that current CDM crediting rules allow plant operators to use outdated information to determine baseline emissions that ignores the efficiency improvements that have occurred at new fossil fuel-fired power plants over time.
Environmental groups have long argued that super critical coal projects do not belong in the CDM and strongly support a suspension of the super critical coal methodology.
Conservative estimates based on IAE data show that on average projects could be over-credited by 25-50%.The Methodology Panel states in its note “In the worst case the implementation of a project that claims emissions reductions, in fact, might have caused an emissions increase.”
NEWS ON NATIONAL GREENING PROGRAM AND REDD++
Feature: Pilot project for carbon trading in the Philippines gets boost with greening program
PIA Press Release
Thursday, July 07, 2011
By: Bong Pedalino
A new concept of saving forests from further deterioration while conserving them for biodiversity conservation and sustainable livelihood for local communities has been at work in Southern Leyte province since 2009, initiated by a German government organization GIZ.
In addition, the Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) concept might as well give flesh to talks in emerging international economics, such as carbon trading or carbon credit.
And with the National Greening Program (NGP) of the Aquino administration now being pursued vigorously until the year 2016, REDD project in the province got a perfect boost.
REDD, or its most recent variation, REDD +++, has been a “pilot project in the Philippines, and it can be found here in Southern Leyte province,” said Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) Ricardo Tomol who discussed the concept during the NGP provincial summit Monday.
Tomol said that GIZ spearheaded the REDD+++ for a three-year period from 2009 to 2012, but it was extended up to 2015 -- and these are also the years when the NGP in the province will be implemented.
MIRIAM PUSHES PHASE-OUT OF PRE-2008 MANUFACTURED VEHICLES
By: Marvin Sy
The Philippine Star
Updated July 03, 2011 12:00 AM
MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago has filled a bill calling for a phase-out of old and fuel inefficient vehicles through the issuance of cash vouchers for the trade in of these vehicles in the next five years.
Senate Bill 2834 stipulates that the vouchers be used as partial payment for the purchase of a new or used fuel efficient vehicle.
“A voucher issued under the program may be applied to offset the purchase price of new fuel efficient automobile, a used fuel efficient automobile or a highly fuel efficient automobile,” Santiago said.
The value of the vouchers shall be determined according to the rules and regulations prescribed by the secretary of energy.
Targeted by the bill for phase out are vehicles manufactured before 2008 “for which the originally certified measured fuel economy level is less than 18 miles per gallon.”
Fuel-efficient vehicles, on the other hand, refer to any automobile manufactured after 2003 that qualified as fuel efficient in accordance with the rules and regulations promulgated by the secretary of energy.
PASIG CITY GOV’T. HOPES TO ERADICATE POLLUTION THROUGH BIKING ORDINANCE
By: Niña Calleja
Philippine Daily Inquirer
In a bid to reduce air pollution, the Pasig City Council has approved an ordinance promoting biking as an environmentally sound mode of transportation.
Signed by all members of the council and Mayor Bobby Eusebio, the ordinance titled “Bicycle Transportation Promotion Ordinance of 2011” cited the need to promote non-motorized transportation and also laid down the mechanisms, incentives and penalties for violators.
It was authored by Councilor Augustin Alexee Santiago.
“[An estimated] 60 percent of the air pollution in Pasig City comes from smoke-belching vehicles. The ever-increasing number of vehicles on the road has contributed immensely to the worsening of the air quality in the Philippines, particularly in Metro Manila,” the ordinance said.
It called for the designation of exclusive lanes for bike riders on major streets based on the Bike Map Guide developed by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.
Bikers must use protective gear and rear lighting at night to avoid being penalized. Those caught without the required gear would be given a citation ticket on the first offense and pay a fine of P150.
Second-time offenders face a fine of P300.
Should they be caught without a rear light, they will be fined P200 (first offense), P350 (second) and P500 (third).
3RD MAKATI GREEN ROUTE FOR E-JEEPNEYS TO BE LAUNCHED JULY 12
07/11/2011 | 08:56 AM
Makati City, one of the pilot sites of the pioneering Climate Friendly Cities initiative, will launch on July 12 its third green route dedicated to electric jeepneys. Dubbed the Makati Heritage Route, the new ejeepney route traverses key commercial establishments and historical sites.
The route covers around five kilometers and goes around Barangay Poblacion from City Hall where many ancestral houses are located; the Museo ng Makati, Poblacion Park, Pio Del Pilar High School, then all the way through the Power Plan Mall towards Estrella and on to EDSA.
Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay, Jr. an active pioneer of the Climate Friendly Cities project will lead the inaugural ceremonies as he marks his 34th birthday.
"As developing countries like the Philippines continue to face the so-called triple crises facing the economy, energy and the environment, cities like Makati can show the way and lead local government efforts at building climate resilient infrastructure and development of sustainable transportation programs," Binay said.
Cities continue to consume over two-thirds of the world’s energy and are responsible for over 70 percent of global CO2 emissions. Yet, the devastation impacts of climate change are strongly felt in cities. Majority are prone to flooding while infrastructure and urban programs are becoming increasingly vulnerable to more frequent and severe weather events.
[header=Issue No. 6]
• AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT
PHILIPPINE NEWS: PHILIPPINES READIES COMMISSIONING ITS FIRST PCB DESTROYER
MANILA, March 3 (PNA) -- The Philippines targets commissioning this year its first facility for destroying polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), hazardous chemical substances that are among 12 persistent organic pollutants (POPs) prioritized for worldwide elimination under the Stockholm Convention.
"We're already finalizing work on this facility," said Foreign-Assisted and Special Projects Office Director Edwin Domingo from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), national executing agency and lead coordinator for the project amounting to nearly US$ 12 million.
He noted the facility's commissioning is tentatively set for this month.
To ensure safe and ecologically sound PCB destruction, DENR reported the facility features non-combustion technology that complies with the Stockholm Convention on POPs.
Philippine National Oil Company-Alternative Fuels Corporation (PNOC-AFC) will host and operate this facility that was constructed in its Petrochem Park in Mariveles, Bataan province.
Such facility is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, PNOC-AFC pointed out earlier.
Domingo noted PCBs from various sources nationwide will be brought to this facility for destruction to help reduce such substances' threat to public health and the environment.
"DENR earlier began developing protocols for collecting and transporting the PCBs," he said.
Among health problems linked to PCB exposure are sterility, skin disease, liver damage, irregular menstrual cycles, lesions, lowered immune responses and impaired cognitive development.
Studies also indicate PCBs contaminate the air, land and water, persisting there and affecting various species.
DENR is spearheading the project as government aims to safely eliminate by 2014 all PCB stockpiles in the country.
Government plans to achieve this using non-combustion technology that complies with the Stockholm Convention and Republic Act No. 8749 (Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999).
ENVIRONMENTAL WATCHDOGS PRESS DENR TO IMPOSE BAN ON LEAD IN PAINTS
By: Ellalyn B. De Vera
March 10, 2011, 4:03pm
MANILA, Philippines — Green advocates Thursday appealed to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to implement a policy that jibes with the international consensus to phase out lead-added paints.
In a letter sent to DENR Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Director Juan Miguel Cuna, the EcoWaste Coalition and Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) pushed for a policy that is in sync with the international community’s call to stop the use of lead in paints.
The EMB had asked for public comments on the final draft of the “Chemical Control Order (CCO) for Lead and Lead Compounds.”
Lead and lead compounds belong to the “Priority Chemicals List” of the Philippines that must be regulated, phased out or banned because of the serious risks these chemicals posed to public health, workplace and the environment.
“The draft CCO must disallow the use of lead pigments in preparations and articles such as paint mixtures and children’s products and hasten industry shift to clean production via kid-safe alternatives to lead,” said Manny Calonzo of GAIA and EcoWaste.
• ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
METROBANK UNITS SEEK TO LURE MORE RENEWABLE ENERGY INVENTORS
March 24, 2011 01:12:21 PM | BREAKING NEWS
Emilia Narni J. David
TWO UNITS of the Metrobank Group have partnered to help investors develop renewable energy projects, with one structuring funding requirements while the other determining commercial viability of the ventures, a statement released on Thursday read.
The partnership between First Metro Investment Corp. and Global Business Power Corp. "was conceived to draw and synergize on the expertise of First Metro in project finance and the experience of Global Power in developing power projects",
“It is hoped that with this joint cooperation renewable project proposals can be realized thereby promoting and encouraging investments in this sector,” the statement read.
AYALA INFUSION TO FUEL WIND FARM GROWTH
TWO more wind farms will be operating in the country by 2015 with Ayala Corp. now backing the pioneering firm behind the first turbine site in Ilocos Norte, a ranking official yesterday said.
Two more wind farms will reportedly rise by 2015 to join this project on Bangui Bay in Ilocos Norte after Ayala Corp. acquired a 50% stake in NorthWind Power Development Corp.
The planned 40-megawatt (MW) Aparri wind farm should start generating and selling power by 2013 while another 40-MW farm planned for Pamplona in Cagayan Valley should be ready by 2015, NorthWind Power Development Corp. Chairman Ferdinand A. Dumlao told reporters in a telephone interview.
This comes after Ayala, the country’s oldest conglomerate, announced last week that it had purchased a 50% stake in NorthWind as part of plans to diversify into the power business.
The acquisition, accomplished via Ayala unit Michigan Power, Inc. cost roughly P512 million, according to earlier reports.
“We are confident that we can embark on these new projects,” Mr. Dumlao said.
Ayala, through its subsidiary, will have a 50% interest in each of the windfarms, Mr. Dumlao added.
GOV'T. MUST PUSH FOR LONG-TERM SOLUTIONS TO FIGHT RISING FUEL COSTS – ANGARA
Senator Edgardo J. Angara called for the government to invest in long term solutions to fight the rising costs of fuel and end foreign oil dependency by supporting renewable energy (RE) resources and green transportation solutions.
Angara made the statements after news that the government is studying the implementation of a fuel subsidy plan for public transport operators to be able to cope with steadily rising fuel costs.
Angara noted that the plan would only be a stopgap measure with short term effects, adding RE alternatives and electric and hybrid vehicles will bring long term solutions and at the same time help stimulate the growth of new industries.
Angara, Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering, expressed his support for the new eco-jeepney program of the Department of Energy (DOE) and the initiative of Iloilo city, which recently launched an electric jeepney program.
Get involved!Publicly comment/react to this article: www.comste.gov.ph/content.asp?code=1249
GROUP PRODS GOV’T. TO EMBRACE ELECTRIC VEHICLES
04-Mar-11, 3:09 PM
An electric tricycle, or eTrike, undergoes testing by the Land Transportation as groups call on government to provide incentives to businesses involved in manufacturing and deploying environmentally friendly electric vehicles.
(photo by Avilash Roul)
MANILA, Philippines - An environmental advocacy group called on government Friday to promote the manufacture and use of electric vehicles and "start the slow but sure transition away from fossil fuel dependence" amidst spiking oil prices, the growing tension in the Middle East and Libya and the worsening impacts of climate change.
In a statement, Red Constantino of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (iCSC), said that, even as the country harnesses its "huge renewable energy resources," it also needs to "scale up solutions we already have, such as electric public vehicles and other sustainable transport alternatives. It's time to confront the jittery oil market with a steady green hand."
Also on Friday, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) carried out tests on electric tricycles, or eTrikes, manufactured by the Alternative Modern Transport group.
The tests were supervised by LTO North Motor Vehicle Inspection Center (NMVIC) chief Engineer Joel Donato, described by the iCSC as an advocate of green transport alternatives.
"Ang matuwid na daan ay malinis na daan (The straight road is also a green road)," the iCSC quoted Donato as saying in a reference to President Benigno Aquino III's campaign promise of good governance.
ECO-JEEPNEY, GREEN TRANSPORT INITIATIVES TO FIGHT RISING FUEL COSTS – ANGARA
Senator Edgardo J. Angara expressed his support for the new eco-jeepney program of the Department of Energy (DOE), adding that the program would complement the Green Transport initiative of the Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), which would help ease the nation’s dependence on oil.
The Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) has been signed with large transport groups, for the eco-jeepney program which will promote the use auto-liquefied petroleum gas (auto-LPG) and compressed natural gas (CNG)-fed engines.
The program will aim to convert as many diesel-run jeepneys as possible.
Angara, Chair of COMSTE, identified the development of electric vehicles and green transport as priority projects of the commission for 2011.
The Green Transport initiative and Electric Vehicle program, was conceptualized by COMSTE under the Renewable Energy Research and Development Institute (RERDI) and will be implemented in cooperation with the DOST and the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP). The project will promote the development of new technology that can produce more efficient, low cost batteries and new electric vehicle design initiatives.
Angara said that innovative Green transport systems such as electric tricycles, hybrid jeepneys, buses and electric bicycles have the potential to lessen pollution caused by conventional transportation.
Get involved!Publicly comment/react to this article: www.comste.gov.ph/content.asp?code=1239
PEDAL-SOLAR-WIND POWERED TRAIN
Solar, (Pedal)-wind-powered train eyed for Cebu City, Cebu Daily News3/27/2011
Reporter: Candeze R. Mongaya
A SOLAR- and wind powered mini-train for Cebu?
Ecology lawyer and Ramon Magsaysay awardee Antonio Oposa sent a written proposal to Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama for access to a road where the proposed transportation system could be installed.
In his letter, Oposa also submitted a fabrication of the prototype for the mini-train.
Oposa’s project proposal would be the first Filipino-made mini-train to be powered by solar and wind energy.
“The city government will own the prototype and we are donating our services including the idea,” Oposa said.
He said they plan to launch the project by June 12, 2011, to signify Cebu’s “declaration of independence from fossil fuels.”
Oposa also asked for P150,000 to purchase the angle bars that will be used for the rail and the train’s chassis system along with an electrical harness. He said they will provide the electric motor and battery for the train.
They will also install the train’s lighting systems, solar panel, foot pedaling and the materials for the train’s roofing and body and the wooden flooring, Oposa said.
He said the estimated cost of the mini-train prototype would be P90,000.
ADB WELCOMES AND SUPPORTS PHILIPPINES’ DEVELOPMENT FOCUS
25 March 2011
MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Government of the Philippines has laid out directions for tapping the country's development potential and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will support it, ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda said today.
Mr. Kuroda was speaking at a reception to pay tribute to the Philippines as ADB's host country. President Benigno S. Aquino III was guest of honor. Other guests included ADB Governor and Philippines Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Alternate Governor and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco, Jr., ambassadors from ADB member countries, legislators and senior officials of the Philippine central and local governments, business and civil society leaders, members of the diplomatic community and academe, and development partners.
"We support your focus on infrastructure development using public private partnerships, social sector development, fiscal consolidation and governance reforms," said Mr. Kuroda.
To illustrate its commitment, ADB has extended a $400 million loan for a conditional cash transfer program to assist the country's poorest households. It has also shared know-how and experiences in developing public private partnerships with the Government's economic team.
Mr. Kuroda thanked the Philippines for its support in piloting electric tricycles and other projects which ADB plans to replicate in other member countries. "With the environment becoming an increasing concern, I am also happy to note that we are also working closely with the Philippines in developing unique approaches to mitigating the impact of climate change," he said.
ADB was established in Manila over 44 years ago and since then it has provided assistance of about $12 billion to the Philippines. The current portfolio includes robust private sector operations which have helped improve infrastructure and the financial sector.
[header=Issue No. 5]
• CLIMATE CHANGE
PACQUIAO BACKS CLIMATE CHANGE SURVIVAL FUND
Posted at 02/23/2011 10:13 PM | Updated as of 02/24/2011 8:21 AM
MANILA, Philippines – Boxing superstar and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao is among lawmakers in the House of Representatives and Senate who are supporting the creation of a climate change survival fund for local governments, a think-tank official said Wednesday.
The number of legislators co-authoring the People's Survival Fund (PSF) Bill has reached 71, according to Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities iCSC executive director Red Constantino.
He said the bill, which was filed as twin measures in the Senate and the Lower Chamber by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and House Deputy Speaker Lorenzo "Erin" Tañada, seeks to provide committed funding to local governments to help them cope with worsening extreme climatic events.
"The Lower Chamber is heeding the clamor of governors, mayors and local government leaders who continue to convey in writing their call for the early passage of the PSF Bill. This is the kind of response communities need given the increasing magnitude of economic and social costs due to climate change-linked disasters," Constantino said.
The PSF bill has already passed first hearing in both chambers of Congress.
Under the bill, local governments can avail of programs such as the deployment of local agricultural meteorological capability and technology, livelihood and shelter support for communities threatened by rising seas, small water impounding projects and crop shifting support for areas facing anticipated extreme drought conditions, and anti-flooding measures.
Once the bill is passed, annual portions of proceeds from government-owned corporations and the Motor Vehicle Users Charge (MVUC) will be pooled in the climate change survival fund.
It will be managed by the Climate Change Commission, together with agencies such as the Department of Finance, the Department of Budget and Management, with representatives from the business and NGO sectors sitting as observers.
PEOPLE’S SURVIVAL FUND PUSHED TO PROTECT FARMERS FROM CLIMATE CHANGE’S IMPACT
CAGAYAN DE ORO City, Feb. 18, 2011—Among the vulnerable sectors to climate change in Philippine society the agriculture sector is the most defenseless and exposed, which is why farmers have joined the clamor for the immediate passage of the “Depensa” Bill or the People’s Survival Fund (PSF) Bill (H.B. 3528).
The PSF Bill is an important climate change mitigation measure that will strengthen the Climate Change Act of 2009 (RA 9729) and the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Act of 2010 (RA 10121), both important measures that seek to protect communities from the impact of climate change.
Joselito Tambalo, president of Kalikasan NE and the Pambansang Samahan ng mga Magsasaka sa Likas-Kayang Pananakahan (SAKAHAN), said that the PSF is an important piece of legislation because it will fund programs, including agricultural programs, before disaster strikes.
But more importantly, PSF will help farmers get back on their feet once disaster brought about by the whims of climate change damages their crops.
“Makakatulong ang PSF sa mga magsasaka dahil ang mga probisyon nito ay siyang magbibigay nga mga programa sakaling ang mga pananim ng mga magsasaka ay masira dahilan sa climate change (The PSF is a big help to farmers because it will fund programs in case our crops are destroyed by climate change),” he said.
SAKAHAN is a federation of farmers for sustainable agriculture while KALIKASAN-NE, which was founded by 64 farmers, aims at developing sustainable rice-based organic agriculture through the provision of technical assistance, training of new members and making inputs such as chicken manure and rice seedlings available to farmers to help considerably reduce the production costs of rice while increasing the net income of farmers.
Elvira Baladad, council member of the Pambansang Konseho ng Kababaihan sa Kanayunan (PKKK), said that aside from farmers, climate change also victimizes poor rural women, who in Philippine rural society bear the brunt of supporting their family.
“Ang mga kababaehan sa kanayunan ay naaapektuhan nga pagbabago-bago nga panahon. Dapat meron silang angklahan para ng sa ganun kung dumating man ito at sila ay maapektohan sila ay merong matatakbuhan upang kanilang maibangon ang kanilang dignidad bilang mga kanbabaehan sa kanauyan(Women are also victims of climate change and they need support during disasters. It will preserve their dignity and stature as women of the community),” she said.
HOUSE BODY PASSES BILL TO FUND CLIMATE CHANGE PROGRAMS
THE House Committee on Ecology has reported out for floor deliberation a bill identifying the alternative funding provisions for climate change adaptation programs for local government units and communities.
The proposed People’s Survival Fund (PSF) bill, to be known as the “Depensa bill”, was approved by the body which was presided over by Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento (1st District, Western Samar).
Sarmiento said representatives from different government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the academe who attended the public hearings have endorsed the passage of the bill.
House Bill 3628, principally authored by Deputy Speaker Lorenzo Tañada, seeks to amend the Republic Act 9729 or the Climate Change Act of 2009.
Sarmiento said another source of funding the LGUs can avail of but has not taken advantage is the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, which addresses some concerns in relation to reducing the effects of disasters.
“In my home province, rainfall has become constant as a result of climate change and, as an adaptation measure, we are now planting pili and we can also take advantage of this by venturing into hydropower generation, for example,” Sarmiento said.
Sarmiento also cited the Department of Agriculture (DA) as among those agencies which could study changes in weather pattern, effect changes in its program, such as shifting of regular palay varieties to other varieties as an adaptation measure, and to educate farmers on the benefits of such programs.
“We are trying to strengthen the RA 9729 so that all concerns of LGUs will be addressed because, after all, all environmental laws like the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Solid Waste Management Act which were passed by Congress have already been devolved to the LGUs,” Sarmiento said.
• AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT
MANILA BULLETIN: SUSTAINED DRIVE AGAINST SMOKE-BELCHING URGED
By: LEONARD D. POSTRADO
February 20, 2011, 4:46pm
MANILA, Philippines - A Manila councilor yesterday called on the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB) to launch a concentrated and continuous campaign against smoke-belching in the city.
Councilor Rodolfo Lacsamana of the Second District said he had been alarmed by the recent report of the Congressional Commission on Science Technology, and Engineering (Comste), and a joint World Bank (WB) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) study naming Manila as the most polluted city in the country.
In a resolution he filed before the Manila City Council, Lacsamana directed the MTPB to launch an sustained campaign against smoke-belchers. A copy of the resolution was furnished to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
“In order to protect public health, reduce air pollution, give meaning to the Clean Air Act, the campaign against must be done with utmost vigor in the City of Manila,” the resolution said.
In the Asian Green City Index, commissioned by German firm Siemens and compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Manila scored "below average" along with Bengaluru and Mumbai in India and Hanoi in Vietnam.
At the top of the list, with the sole "well above average" mark, was Singapore, which was followed by "above average" Hong Kong, Osaka, Seoul, Taipei, Tokyo and Yokahama.
Rounding out the list were "average" Bangkok, Beijing, Delhi, Guangzhou, Jakarta, Kolkata, Kuala Lumpur, Nanjing, Shanghai, and Wuhan.
A similar study conducted by Congressional Commission on Science Technology, and Engineering (Comste), which was chaired by Senator Edgardo Angara, also cited Manila as the most polluted city in the Philippines.
BUSINESS MIRROR: MANILA IS THE MOST POLLUTED CITY IN THE PHILIPPINES – STUDY
BusinessMirror, Thursday, 10 February 2011 20:27
In the Imeldific plans of the Marcos-era Ministry of Human Settlements, Manila was “The City of Man.” Yet years of neglect and apathy have made it clear why the capital city, once Ground Zero for an ambitious—and partly successful, but for a change in leadership—massive redevelopment program by its former three-term mayor Lito Atienza, has been adjudged the most polluted place in the Philippines.
A recent study by the Congressional Commission on Science Technology, and Engineering (Comste) links the effects of air pollution and health in the Philippines, noting that lead exposure due to air pollution causes many diseases such as anemia, decreased fertility in females and kidney problems.
Senator Edgardo J. Angara, chairman of Comste, noted that the World Health Organization (WHO) identified Manila as the most polluted city in the Philippines. According to a joint World Bank and Asian Development Bank study of air pollution for 20 major Asian cities between 2000 and 2003, Manila is on the 8th spot.
According to the report, adults who are exposed to a hazardous amount of lead can experience such disorders like anemia, nervous system dysfunction, hypertension, kidney problems, decreased fertility and increased level of miscarriages (in females). Children exposed to low amounts of lead may show symptoms of neurologic damage, including slow development, reduced Intelligence Quotient (IQ) scores, learning disabilities, hearing loss, reduced height and hyperactivity. In very high and severe levels, comas, convulsions and even death can occur.
In an epidemiological study done by the College of Public Health in UP-Manila with support from WHO, Subida and Torres (1991) observed that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) signs and symptoms are more prevalent among jeepneys drivers (32.5 percent) than drivers of air-conditioned buses (16.4 percent) and public passengers (14.8 percent).
YAHOO NEWS: NEW STUDY CITES DANGERS OF AIR POLLUTION TO COMMUTERS, DRIVERS
By: Anna Valmero, loQal.ph
For Yahoo! Southeast Asia, February 21st, 2011
PASAY CITY, METRO MANILA — A recent study reveals that lead exposure due to air pollution causes anemia, kidney problems and infertility.
The study by the Congressional Commission on Science Technology, and Engineering (COMSTE) further said adults who are exposed to a hazardous amount of lead are also prone to nervous system dysfunction and increased level of miscarriages in females.
The study also found that even low amounts of lead exposure can result in neurologic damage to children, including slow development, reduced intelligence quotient (IQ) scores, learning disabilities, hearing loss, reduced height and hyperactivity (ADHD).
Comas, convulsions and even death can occur in very high levels.
In the country, signs and symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are most common among jeepney drivers, drivers of air-conditioned buses and commuters, according to another study by the College of Public Health at the University of the Philippines Manila.
COPD is characterized by chronic cough with phlegm, wheezing, shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing due to limited airflow into the lungs.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is another toxic substance from vehicles. Exposure at 100 parts per million or greater is fatal to human health as it causes cred blood cells absorb CO quicker than oxygen.
This can lead to tissue damage and even death. Common symptoms include headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.
For public transport drivers, the risk of abnormal pulmonary function is up to 50 percent due to emissions from 2.34 million registered Philippine vehicles in Metro Manila.
Earlier, the World Health Organization (WHO) ranked Manila as the “most polluted city” in the country and the eighth “most polluted city in Asia” from 2000 and 2003.
• ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
PNA: ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS URGE LGUs TO EXTINGUISH FIRES FROM OPEN BURNING
MANILA, March 1 (PNA) -- Environmental groups have pressed local government units (LGUs) to seriously enforce the prohibition against open burning to conserve resources and curb toxic pollution.
EcoWaste Coalition and the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) jointly push for the stringent implementation of the open burning ban under Republic Act No. 9003 and R.A. 8749 as the whole nation observes “Fire Prevention Month” this March.
"With public support, the LGUs can extinguish these often-ignored 'small' but similarly detrimental fires from the open burning of waste materials," the groups said.
Both R.A. 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, and R.A. 8749, the Clean Air Act, prohibit open burning of waste materials to address the decline of environmental quality, which directly impacts public health.
“Despite clear and explicit proscriptions under our foremost environmental laws, we still find open burning practised with impunity in both rural and urban areas,” said Roy Alvarez, president, EcoWaste Coalition.
“We see valuable resources, such as materials that can be re-used, recycled or composted, transformed into noxious fumes and ashes in disposal sites, farms, street corners, backyards and even in parks," he said.
On top of being wasteful, open burning produces a cocktail of health-damaging chemicals depending on what is burned.
The groups reiterated that R.A. 9003 and R.A. 8749 provide clear, adequate and strong basis for heightened LGU action against open burning.
VILLAR SEEKS SUPPORT FOR NATIONWIDE BIKE LANES
MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Manuel Villar Jr. asked Saturday for congressional support for the passage of his bill which seeks to promote bicycles as an alternative mode of transportation in the face of the increasing price of fuel and fares.
Villar authored Senate Bill No. 2688 or the Bicycle Act of 2011 which seeks to provide a framework for a bicycle law on a national level. The bill states that all main roads and highways shall be provided with bicycle lanes or bike ways as identified by the Local Bikeways Office (LBO).
“Bicycle riding not only promotes health and leisure but also provides for an alternative solution to high fuel prices, increasing transport fares, traffic management, air and noise pollution and high cost of motorized vehic