• Doctors readying Writ to protect environment

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    If there is one factor to blame for the damage Super
    Typhoon Yolanda brought the country, it is the polluted air that is everywhere.

    This is the main reason why the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) is preparing to seek a Writ of Kalikasan with a petition for a Temporary Environment Protection Order (TEPO) from courts against concerned Philippine government agencies tasked to protect the environment to compel them to act not only to protect the government but also the people.

    “Air pollution can also lead to super typhoons which cause storm surges, flash floods etc. These are what we saw in the recent Super Typhoon Yolanda. These are definitely caused by the emission of unabated ‘greenhouse’ gases from motor vehicles that continuously cause climate change,” Dr. Virgilion Lazaga, PMA’s chairman for environmental concern, said.

    He cited countless studies that have proven that air pollution causes not only various respiratory diseases, but serious cardiovascular ailments like heart attack, stroke, and even sudden death.

    “The air that we breath in Metro Manila, as shown by statistical data from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), has reached a dangerous level and can pose a grave threat to human health and life as well as contributing to climate change. As long as we all live in the metropolis we definitely cannot escape this deadly problem. This fact make us all unwilling victims of air pollution,” Lazaga said.

    He added that more than 80 percent of air pollution in the metropolis comes from unabated motor vehicle emissions a rampant violation and poor enforcement of the Clean Air Act of 1999 (RA 8749) “aggravated by the lukewarm attitude of motor vehicle owners to do their patriotic duty ton properly maintain their vehicle has led to the life threatening state of air quality in the National Capital Region.”

    “We must protect our own environment. The earth does not belong to human beings, human beings belong to earth. Its time to stop talking and start acting to safeguard our lives from the two-pronged effects of air pollution specifically climate change and human health,” Lazaga stressed.

    He said they are also gathering some support to other individuals or group to join the crusade and file the Writ of Kalikasan as a “multi-sectoral effort” to compel the government of President Aquino, DENR, the Department of Transportation and Communication, Department of Trade and Industry to address immediately the major cause of Climate Change — air pollution,

    They plan to file their petition next week even the country has still gearing up to rehabilitate the devastated areas of typhoon Yolanda.

    “Stop air pollution now before it kills you and your love ones. It can indirectly kill you through the effects of Climate Change. It can directly kill you and your family by causing deadly respiratory and cardiovascular diseases,” Lazaga said.

    Jing Villamente

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