Press Release
February 1, 2006

The landmark bill he authored and passed as Speaker

Senator Manny Villar, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, gets an update from the officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) during the budget hearing yesterday on the status of the implementation of the Clean Air Act that he authored and passed into law during his terms as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

I am particularly interested with the results of the Clean Air Law not just because of the fact that it was passed while I was still Speaker of the House but because I fought hard for its passage. Back then I was told that for 11 years, the bill was not able to pass through the House. I really had to convince all the representatives about its importance, cites Villar, President of the Nacionalista Party.

The Clean Air Law or Republic Act 8749, the consolidation of Senate Bill No. 1255 and House Bill No. 6216, was passed into law by the Senate and the House of Representatives on May 13, 1999 and May 10, 1999 respectively. It aims to improve air quality throughout the country, and includes among its provisions the banning of incinerators in solid waste disposal, improving gasoline quality by reducing the level of aromatics, and requiring factories to install anti-air pollution devices.

More than anything, the underlying principle why I authored the Clean Air Act is that I believe that every Filipino has the right to breathe clean air. Although we have not reached the ideal or standard level of clean air, its good to know that there are positive improvements in many areas in our country, adds Villar.

According to the DENR, Manila ranks as the fifth most polluted among major cities worldwide along with Beijing and Shan in China; New Delhi, India and Jakarta, Indonesia. Based on the readings from air monitoring stations, the total suspend particles or TSPs level in Metro Manila was around 144 microgram per normal cubic meter last year. The standard or ideal TSP level is 90 microgram per normal cubic meter.

Villar further cites, We still have a long way to go before we can claim that the air we breathe is really clean and free of toxic particles. In fact, I was surprised to find out that in Baguio where Filipinos troop to for its supposed fresh air has high pollution of 199 microgram per normal cubic meter which is even higher than here in Metro Manila.

The consideration and deliberation of the DENR budget was suspended yesterday due to issues on the status of the officers in charge or acting secretary of the department.

News Latest News Feed