Haze creeps in Metro Manila


THE haze has dissipated in Mindanao but weathermen warned that it has crept in Metro Manila.

Landrico U. Dalida Jr., the officer-in-charge of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said light haze was observed in the metropolis early yesterday.

Parts of Mindanao blanketed with thick haze in the past few days enjoyed clear skies yesterday, a week after toxic winds from forest fires in Indonesia reached southern Philippines.

Dr. Rodel Agbulos, head of the Zamboanga City Health Office, said the quality of air has largely improved.

“Our air quality now is now on normal level and the sky is clear,” he said.

Other areas in Mindanao, including Cagayan de Oro and Davao cities, also reported good weather conditions.

Although the haze has subsided, local government units and agencies in Mindanao will continue to monitor the situation.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 12 is coordinating with the Department of Health in monitoring air pollutants, DENR Director Tungko Saikol told the Manila Times on Thursday

Weather forecaster Manny Mendoza said the light haze observed in Metro Manila may not have been caused solely by forest fires in Indonesia but by the air pollution emitted from factories, vehicles and house fires.

Mendoza could not say how long the haze will stay in the country.

“Haze is a natural occurrence. If the directions of wind will change, it will prevent the haze to spread and will dissipate,” he said.

Mendoza advised the public to take precautionary measure to avoid hazards caused by the smaze.

“Get recommendations from the doctors especially those people who have lung problems. If it gets worse they need to have face masks or just stay indoors if possible. Also, they need to keep on monitoring for further information regarding this,” he noted.

The toxic haze, a mixture of smoke and other pollutants from fires that are ravaging six provinces in Indonesia – Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan and South Kalimantan – since June this year have affected Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Cambodia. The Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management had declared a state of emergency in the provinces due to the haze.

President Benigno Aquino 3rd said Indonesia should not be castigated for the haze.

“Instead of castigating an Asean brother country, perhaps in the Asean Summit, we should really look for the wherewithal, the direction, the attitude—attitudinal change whereby we can help Indonesia avoid creating this problem,” Aquino said.


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