AIR pollution in our midst is worsening.
In fact, the year 2002 has been declared as the International Year for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer to raise the alarm over the danger posed by pollution on the atmosphere and on life itself.
These dramatize the need for greater efforts at checking the main sources of air pollutants - public transport, industries and the energy sector - if we are to live better, healthier and longer.
The "brown cloud" phenomenon has been noted in Metro Manila as in other Asian megacities in recent years.
United Nations Environment Program Chief Klaus Toepfler said that the Asian brown cloud phenomenon is caused by the burning of fossil fuels (crude oil and coal) by vehicles, industries and power stations; agricultural wastes, and emissions from inefficient cookers; and wood, cow dung and other bio-fuels.
Aside from posing health risks, scientists say that the brown cloud is playing havoc with rainfall patterns, adversely affects monsoons and destabilizes the agricultural output of the region.
The problem has elicited action and responses from concerned sectors, like legislation from Congress and the "Bantay Usok" pollution monitoring campaign against smokebelchers launched by Gina Lopez of the ABS-CBN.
Public transport and industries must continue to comply with the provisions of the Clean Air Act passed earlier by Congress and enforced by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and related agencies to check the pollution problem. …