DENR data shows improved air quality in Metro Manila due to quarantine

Breathing easier lately?
by Drei Laurel | Mar 25, 2020
PHOTO: Elaine Lara

Turns out we can improve the air quality in Metro Manila. All it takes is for, well, everyone to stop using their cars.

According to data collected by the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), those viral images you’ve seen of clear blue skies over the nation’s capital are for real.

The agency recently took to social media to share that many cities in Metro Manila recorded ‘good’ to ‘fair’ air quality thanks to the government limiting everyone’s movement on account of the COVID-19 virus. Look:

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“Close to a week of suspended work and activity, air quality of Metro Manila is improving,” the DENR said on its official National Capital Region Facebook page. “Data (as of 8am, 23 March 2020) from EMB-NCR's Air Quality Monitoring station says it all. This is supported, moreover, by several photos circulating on social media showing smog-free skies.”

“We can do this, Metro Manilans! Please stay home and cooperate with the authorities. Together, we can beat #COVID19,” the agency added.

Marikina City, Parañaque City, San Juan City, Malabon City, Pasay City, and Taguig City were all listed as having ‘good’ air quality. Pasig City, North Caloocan, Las Piñas City, and Makati City, meanwhile, had ‘moderate/fair’ readings.

PM10 is particulate matter that measures in at 10 micrometers or under in diameter—the lower the reading, the better. These are any types of solid particles in the air we breathe, including smoke, dust, and vapors. The DENR-EMB website lists diesel and fossil fuels burnt by vehicles as among the more common sources of particulate matter.

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Do you think Metro Manila can find a way to maintain good air quality readings once private cars and public transportation return to normal operations?

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PHOTO: Elaine Lara
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