Just how clean (or dirty) is the air in the Philippine?

The title might be a little presumptuous, as it denotes that the Philippines is polluted. But is this really the case though?

A fair question to start off is to know, how air quality is being measured. What are the metrics?

Total Suspended Particulates

Total suspended particles (TSP) is an archaic regulatory measure of the mass concentration of particulate matter (PM) in community air. It was defined by the (unintended) size-selectivity of the inlet to the filter that collected the particles.

The air quality of our country is still dirty but improving in terms of TSP. For 2008, TSP level is 99ug/Ncm, for a 29% reduction from 2004 to 2008.

In 2015, National Capital Region reached 130 micrograms per normal cubic meter (µg/Ncm).

The acceptable level is 90 ug/Ncm – annual air quality guideline value for Total Suspended Particulates (TSP).

Salient Features of the Philippine Clean Air Act

The State shall pursue a policy of balancing development and environmental protection. To achieve this end, the framework for sustainable development shall be pursued. As such, it shall be the policy of the State to:

Formulate a holistic national program of air pollution that shall be implemented by the government through proper delegation and effective coordination of function and activities;

Encourage cooperation and self-regulation among citizen and industries through the application of incentives market-based instruments;

Focus primarily on pollution prevention rather than on control and provide for a comprehensive management program on air pollution;

Promote public information and education to encourage the participation of an informed and active public in air quality planning and monitoring; and Formulate and enforce a system of accountability for short and long term adverse environmental impact of a project, program or activity.

This shall include setting up of a funding or guarantee mechanism for clean-up and environmental rehabilitation and compensation for personal damages.

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