EMB-7 monitors C. Visayas air quality amid Indon forest fire

AIR QUALITY. The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in Central Visayas forms a task group that will monitor the air quality in the region, following reports that the smog from the Indonesian forest fire has reached Mindanao and Visayas areas. EMB-7 Regional Director Engineer William Cuñado said he ordered the monitoring of air quality in Region 7 as part of the agency’s proactive measures. (PNA photo by John Rey Saavedra)

CEBU CITY – The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in Central Visayas on Tuesday created a task group to monitor air quality in the region following reports that the haze from the raging forest fire in Indonesia has reached Mindanao.

Engineer William Cuñado, regional director of EMB-7, said his office received reports that smog from the Indonesian forest fire has entered the Visayan airspace.

“Nag-organize ta of task group aron mag-monitor sa hangin aron maklaro nato ang data (We have created as task group that will monitor the air in order to have an exact data),” Cuñado said in a phone interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Cuñado, however, clarified that all actions that his office will take right now are just part of precautionary measures, since the EMB central office has not given him a directive on the matter.

“So far, it’s our initiative to monitor our air quality. Let’s be proactive on this,” he added.

Earlier, Cindy Pepito, information officer of EMB-7, told the PNA that only the Mindanao regional offices of the EMB received a directive to monitor the high particulates present in the air.

“In the meantime, it is best that we take precautionary measures especially those who belong to the sensitive group who are suffering from respiratory issues like asthma. The public are advised to wear mask or they can stay indoor while we are still confirming about the haze from Indonesia,” she said.

Pepito vowed to brief the public as soon EMB-7 acquires technical data on the region’s air quality.

“One we can confirm on the air quality and the level of presence of air pollutants, we will update the public,” she said.

The EMB, she noted, is also monitoring the wind speed.

On Sunday, the EMB in Soccsksargen region warned that the forest fire in Indonesia could cause the spread of “unhealthy smog”.

It issued an advisory following intense forest fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan, warning that “high levels of air pollution” could be blown towards the southern part of the country. John Rey Saavedra /PNA- northboundasia.com