THE good news along this theme is an award given to Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio as the Clean Air Champion Advocate by the Clean Air Philippines. She was awarded for her spirited campaign in pushing programs for the clean air initiatives in the city during the Clean Air Month celebration on November 6 at NCCl Mall Davao Activity center. The Mayor, the first local government official to win the award has local ordinances on various clean air- related programs which were strictly implemented in the whole city. The rigid ordinances such as the non- smoking areas in the city and Anti-Smoking Belching Unit ( ASBU ), and open burning along the street sides. I remember when I lived in Marikina City, Metro Manila, the moment you are caught burning thrash in the sides of the street, you are apprehended and fined for such offense. If you cannot pay you have do this- clean for fine choice by cleaning the streets for the day together with the camineros.
Mayor Sara promulgated the Anti- Smoke Belching vehicles which required that all vehicles on the road must have appliances to lessen the belching of polluting smoke. Together with this is the movement for the modernization of all vehicles plying the routes all over the city. Old worn off vehicles like jeeps and busses will not be permitted anymore. Davao City was awarded the Clean Air Champion Advocate by recording the good to fair levels of air purity for highly urbanized cities.
The DENR-EMB is the lead agency implementing the Clean Air Act. It has stringent measures in giving permit to industrial establishments emitting untreated smoke from their chimneys. There are the height of the chimneys required and the treatment with purifying apparatuses from the factory itself. If these requirements are not met; no permit will be given to the company. I had a sad experience way back relocating from Baguio, we chose a lot at the hill of cooler Marikina Heights. We built our house there not knowing that the huge Fortune Tobacco Corporation was nearby. Too late to realize this, I started my one- woman campaign against the pollution of air caused by the smoke from the chimney. The DENR- EMB received my complain and investigation started. The factory started as a textile company with their permit. Knowing about the Tobacco Factory now they started the investigation. They required the higher length of the tower and the treatment of impurities from the Tobacco factory itself. All of these have to be done or they will face closure. Thank God these were all done.
Back to Davao, I have this Happy Fun Ride for the Environment sponsored by Councilor Marissa Abella. This is a legacy she inherited from the late green councilor Leo Abella111. The Fun Ride shoots several birds with one shot as they say. The main goals of the Happy Fun Ride are all creditable. It will start on November 12. The rides in bicycles are non-polluting and serve as exercise to tune up muscles. It is sponsored by the Flight of the Eagles (FOTE). This is its 14th Flight and surely promoting a healthy life style through exercise by biking and at the same time raise funds for the conservation of the city's watersheds. Biking amateurs and professional are invited. The theme is "Happy Ride for the Environment; Promoting Bike Rides for a Healthier Environment. Registration fee is 400 pesos with jersey, name plate, raffle ticket and snacks. There are some 28 generous sponsors.
The rides will have two easy meandering routes starting at the People's Park. The first route is a 15-kilometer Kalayaan route on the city road event starting at 6:00 am. The second is the 40-kilometer Pagasa route to the Malagos Watershed Park at 7:00 a.m. The FOTE has goals for watershed protection and maintenance, rehabilitation, climate change mitigation, clean air, transportation routes, community green spaces allotment, general city planning and organized urban planning.
Last but not the least, I will include the ban on firecrackers and fireworks during the Christmas and New year festivities. Only in Davao did I experience this. The result is the non - pollution of the atmosphere, a very positive effect and no lining up in hospitals' emergency rooms with burned victims losing a finger or more.
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