WHO: Baguio one of most polluted cities in Philippines

>> Sunday, March 26, 2017

By Dexter A. See

BAGUIO CITY – The World Health Organization named Baguio City as one of the most polluted cities in the Philippines country.
A WHO report said there were  49 micrograms per cubic meter of pollutants in the city’s air based on the test results reported in one of the air quality testing machines installed at the foot of Session Road, right at the heart of the city where many vehicles traverse and where most businesses are located.
Manila and Cebu came in second and third with 22 micrograms per cubic meter each.
According to Councilor Leandro Yangot Jr., said results were partly because of the presence of too many vehicles roaming around the city’s central business district.
He said the situation will expose individuals in high risk status to contracting dreaded diseases such as cancer, stroke or heart ailments.
Following this, the city council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance providing for a Carless Day along Session Road and for other purposes it may serve.
 The ordinance authored by Yangot. stated all motor vehicles will be prohibited to traverse along the stretch of Session Road starting from its foot up to the area fronting the Bank of the Philippine Islands Session and Baguio Post Office.
Yangot clarified in extreme cases such as emergencies or events involving possible threats to life and limb, police cars, fire trucks, emergency medical service vehicles, ambulances among others may enter the declared carless zone to perform their assigned duties and responsibilities.
Under the proposed ordinance, violators of the local legislative measure shall be penalized with a fine of P1,000 for the first offense, P3000 or imprisonment of not more than three months but not less than one month or both fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court for the second offense and a fine of P5,000 or imprisonment of not more than six months but not less than three months or both fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court for the third offense.
Yangot said the local government has to act with dispatch to effectively and efficiently address the serious concern considering the health of the public is at stake.
Yangot said the proposed legislation for the adoption of a Carless Day along Session Road will avoid pollution from motor vehicle fumes and decrease the amount of pollutants in the air and also as support to recreation that restores family bonds, friendship and a sense of community involvement to help bring back the seemingly lost connection between man and nature.

He said Carless Day would be beneficial so business persons could  meet new people and learn new things that would improve their operations.


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