Multisectoral Air Council ordinance passed in Cebu City

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - CDN Digital Multi-Media Reporter | January 15,2021 - 09:05 PM

This section of the North Reclamation Area in Cebu City is enveloped by a fog-like haze in this photo taken at 4:40 p.m. on Sept. 20, 2019, from the rooftop of the Cebu Daily News building. | Rosalie O. Abatayo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The ordinance creating a Multisectoral Air Council has been passed in Cebu City as the first step to a cleaner, breathable city.

Councilor Alvin Dizon, the proponent of the ordinance said that there is a need to implement policies to curb the pollution in the city and make it more sustainable for the generations to come.

“It is the policy of this City to ensure an environmentally friendly and proactive city government. In this regard, it is incumbent upon the City Government to carry out measures to secure that the rights of the people to health and to a healthful and balanced ecology are protected,” said Dizon. 

The ordinance aims to create and mandate a Multisectoral Air Quality Council with the discretion to enforce ambient air quality guideline values that assure a breathable air for the people in Cebu City with the authority to assess, regulate, and monitor reports, applications, and emissions related to air pollution.

The Multisectoral Air Quality Council (MSACQ) must be composed of the Mayor as the chairperson, the chairperson of the City Council Committee on Environment, the chairperson of the City Council Committee on Health,  the minority floor leader, head of the Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CCENRO), head of the City Development Council, the City Health Officer, the chairperson of Cebu City Association of Barangay Councils (ABC), and the chairperson of Cebu City Sangguniang Kabataan Federation.

The Council members’ term of office shall start on the second day of the month on the year in which he was appointed. Any member of the MSAQC may be removed for a cause by a majority vote of all the Members.

Whenever a vacancy occurs which reduces the membership of the Council to below eight members, the Council shall fill such vacancy from the organizations previously accepted, in accordance with its by-laws.

The main purpose of the council was to acquire air monitoring equipment to be set-up in locations that are strategic to monitoring stationary and mobile sources of pollution in the city. 

“The Multi-Sectoral Air Quality Council will be tasked to lead and coordinate the formulation, implementation, and enforcement of all policies, programs and projects relative to guarantee the maintenance of good air quality that will be enjoyed by the people of Cebu City,” said Dizon.

They must provide consistent reports on the state of ambient air quality in the city parallel to the real-time reports of the Environment Management Bureau (EMB), keep current city-wide air ambient air quality guideline values up-to-date with the most recent scientific understanding and knowledge of air pollution and its harmful effects on the general welfare and health of the population; and recommend appropriate necessary measures for legislative, legal, and administrative actions relative to air pollution in order to strengthen and further the air pollution- free campaign.

The Council is also tasked to undertake research regarding air pollution to provide data in support of legislative action, public policy formulation, or program direction, among others; formulate and implement other relevant guidelines and regulations pertaining to air pollution, and recommend and impose fees/penalties and sanctions on polluters.

The Council is mandated to meet once every quarter. Special meetings may be called by the Chairperson or upon the request of the majority of the Council members.

Dizon said he is grateful for the council to pass this long overdue ordinance that would monitor the air pollution in the city amid the continuous rise of industries in it.

The ordinance is awaiting the signature of Mayor Edgardo Labella for its implementation. /rcg 

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TAGS: air monitoring equipment, air pollution, breathable city, Cebu City, cleaner city, Councilor Alvin Dizon, Multisectoral Air Council

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