Press Release
September 23, 2010

Zubiri seeks an immediate review of Clean Air Act

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, Chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, today called for an immediate review and assessment of the Clean Air Act following the latest DENR findings that major urban centers in the country remain highly polluted despite government efforts to protect the environment.

"Metro Manila is now the number one in air pollution worldwide according to the DENR. We need to assess and review our laws to make them more effective, or to know if they are effective at all. In other highly-urbanized cities in the world, after a landmark environmental protection law is passed, they show notable improvements. It seems that we are the only ones who are not picking up," Zubiri explained.

DENR has released its findings that the vicinity around Pasay-Taft in EDSA is the most polluted area in the country in terms of Total Suspended Particulates (TSP) or the amount of dust in the air with 257 ug/Ncm (micrograms per normal cubic meters) against the standard level of 90 ug/Ncm. It also found out that in Metro Manila alone the highest level of air pollution is almost twice beyond the international standard.

Zubiri further noted that the high level of air pollution poses a major health risk among urban dwellers emphasizing that "we might be raising a generation of suffering children. They have stunted growth and are getting dumber."

"It has been ten years since the Clean Air Act has been enforced and yet the country has not shown any significant improvement in its drive to reduce air pollution," Zubiri said further noting that emission test for vehicles should be regulated by the DENR instead of the LTO.

"Alam naman natin lahat na marami pa ring fixers sa LTO kung saan magbayad ka lang ng P1,200 ipapasa na ang sasakyan mo sa emission test kahit na no-show ito or hindi na ito kailangan dalhin sa mismong testing centers," Zubiri said.

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