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Better Air Quality (BAQ) 2008
was held in Bangkok, Thailand
12-14 November 2008

Join the CAI-Asia Partnership

Hot air
By Joel Palacios, Bangon Kalikasan

On January 23 and 24, government officials and non-government groups will celebrate the 10th anniversary of Republic Act 8749 otherwise known as the Clean Air Act of 1999 signed by former President Joseph Estrada. The conference venue is in Skyline Riverbend Hotel, Marikina City.

Officials of the Departments of Environment and Natural Resources, and Transportation and Communications, local government officials, NGOs, ex-government officials will say their pieces in the gathering dubbed as
"Conference on Empowering LGUs to Clean the Air and Address Climate Change through Partnerships."

The invitation says the conference will be a multi-stakeholder effort commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Clean Air Act and also to launch the "Ligtas Hangin" or "Save the Air" campaign.

I would like to commend the sincere individuals who are part of the non-government organizations who until now, afater 10 years, have not given up their hope in cleaning the air. Of course, we all can’t give up because the moment we do, there will be no life in this planet.

But it is sad to note that while the people’s organizations are giving their valuable time out of their regular daily struggle for livelihood, several local government units, the DENR and DOTC have been dilly-dallying in their respective tasks. It seems that they’re immune from the air that is getting and getting dirty. It is worse now than 10 years ago.

Sabi ko nga sa mga kasama ko, tumayo ka lang sa kanto ng Philcoa, Commonwealth Avenue o sa kanto ng Cubao Edsa ng isang oras, sasakit na ang lalamunan mo, maninikip ang dibdib at mahihirapan ka nang huminga----ang diagnosis ng duktor --- upper respiratory infection!

So who needs AH1N1 or swine flu? Who needs SARS, dengue, ect, to kill us slowly or instantly? Just walk along the stretch of Edsa, breathe regulary, combined with hot air or scorching heat, you will in no time get
sick.

Siyempre, hindi apektado ng maruming hangin ang mga opisyal ng mga pamahalaang nakasakay sa mga de-aircondition na sasakyan.

Hindi sapat and mga kumperensya para lang mapag-usapan ang maruming hangin kung walang sustained, widespread, at honest-to-goodness implementation.

Araw-araw naman ay makikita ang mga sasakyan—bus, jeepney, traysikel, kotse, atbp., at mga planta, na nagbubuga ng maiitim at nakalalasong usok bago pa man naisabatas ang Clean Air Act. Ngunit hanggang ngayon ay pag-uusapan pa rin kung bakit marumi ang hangin.

Kung may katapatan, bakit hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa naipasasara ang may mahigit sa 1,000 iligal na tambakan ng basura na nakalalason sa hangin? Bakit patuloy pa rin ang pagputol sa mga puno na naglilinis ng hangin, tulad nang mga nasa watershed at mga tabing-daan? Ang pagpapatag sa mga kabundukan na pinagtatayuan ng mga subdivision para sa mayayaman habang nasisira ang buhay ng mga pinalayas na mga maralita at magsasaka! Ang AERIAL SPRAYING sa Davao.

Kailangan pa bang i-memorize ang mga ito?

The key word is SINCERITY which is sorely lacking if not absent among government people in the implementation of the Clean Air Act, as in the case of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

But I’m still pinning my hopes on the people who haven’t lost their hopes too, like our colleagues in the environmental movement, Ms.Vicky Segovia and Mr. Rene Pineda, among others.

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Sustainable transport > Social aspects

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