Friday, February 25, 2011
Online Petition for a Cleaner Air - Stop Smoke Belching Now!
I signed an online petition to urge our government leaders to stop smoke belching in EDSA and other major roads in Metro Manila. You might want to also sign this petition (http://cleanairinitiative.org/edsa).
Here's the text:
We urge our national and local leaders to mount a serious and sustained enforcement effort to remove smoke belchers along major roads in Metro Manila, starting with EDSA, in the first 100 days after the May elections.
Air pollution is responsible for nearly 5,000 deaths in Metro Manila each year (1). People who live within 500 meters from a major road are likely to be exposed to critical levels of air pollution (2), which implies that our families, friends, neighbors, employees, and customers are at a significantly greater risk of asthma, lung diseases, heart attacks, and cancer (3). Walking, biking or driving along these roads makes us more vulnerable to air pollution … and riding an air conditioned vehicle offers no protection (4).
We are fully aware that smoke belching vehicles are a significant source of air pollution (5) and that smoke belchers are breaking the law (6). They must not be allowed to run on the streets and pollute the air that we and our children breathe.
1. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 2007. The Philippines Environment Monitor: Environmental Health Report. The nationwide cost of treatment is 962 million pesos annually. Yearly economic losses are even greater – 6.7 billion pesos.
2. Health Effects Institute, 2010. Traffic-Related Air Pollution: A Critical Review of the Literature on Emissions, Exposure, and Health Effects; Makati City, 2009. Presentation on Project H.A.N.G.I.N.
3. Department of Health, 2004. Public Health Monitoring: A Study Under the Metro Manila Air Quality Improvement Sector Development Program
4. California Air Resources Board, 1999. Study of Air Pollution Levels Inside Vehicles
5. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 2009. National Ambient Air Quality Status Report 2005-2007
6. Philippine Clean Air Act (Republic Act No. 8749) and city anti-smoke belching ordinances
P.S. During my college days, I already presented a research paper on Clear Air Act or R.A. 8749. Now after several years, in my Law schooling, a new research on the same topic will be again be presented by my group. Would there be any changes in the air quality here in Manila than the previous years? Or the other way around?