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3 cities in PH have cleanest air in Southeast Asia

By: Zacarian Sarao - | April 18,2024 - 07:00 AM


METRO SMOG Vehicles on the Skyway are engulfed by smog in Metro Manila. However, the Swiss air-monitoring company IQAir’s 2023 World Air Quality Report says that Calamba City in Laguna ranked sixth in the entire Southeast Asia for having the safest air quality in the country. INQUIRER file photo / REM ZAMORA

MANILA, Philippines — Three cities in the Philippines ranked among the cleanest in terms of air pollution levels in Southeast Asia, according to a 2023 international report on air quality.

The Swiss air-monitoring company IQAir’s 2023 World Air Quality Report provides a global review of air quality, citing PM2.5 air quality data from 7,812 cities spanning 134 countries, regions, and territories for 2023.

M2.5 concentration describes the amount of fine particulate aerosol particles up to 2.5 microns in diameter and is used as the standard air quality indicator for the World Air Quality Report. Measured in μg/m3, PM2. 5 is one of six major air pollutants commonly used in the classification of air quality.


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According to the study, Calamba City in Laguna ranked sixth in the entire Southeast Asia for having the safest air quality in the country, with an 8.2 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m³) average of PM2.5.

This makes Calamba City the least air polluted city in the country.

Carmona City in Cavite also landed on the list with 8.9 μg/m³ average PM2.5, while Balanga City in Bataan ranked 11th with 9.2 μg/m³ average PM2.5.

Still, all three cities still did not meet the prescribed annual average PM2.5 concentration of 5 or less.

PH ranks 79th globally

Meanwhile, Mamuju, Indonesia led Southeast Asia with the lowest average PM2.5 at only 3.7 μg/m³, followed by Kupang, Indonesia with 4.6 μg/m³ and Bongawan, Malaysia with 6.7 μg/m³.

The most air polluted cities in the region, on the other hand, was South Tangerang, Indonesia with 71.7 μg/m³, followed by Tay Ho, Vietnam with 61.5 μg/m³ and Tangerang, Indonesia with 54.1 μg/m³.

Meanwhile, of the 134 countries and territories worldwide, the Philippines ranked 79th based on average PM2.5 concentration and 8th out of nine countries in Southeast Asia.

The country’s 13.5 μg/m³ average PM2.5 was 10 percent lower than the recorded 14.9 μg/m³ in 2022.

This, however, is also still almost triple the prescribed annual average PM2.5 concentration.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh led the ranking with the highest average PM2.5 concentration at 79.9 μg/m³, followed by Pakistan with 73.7 μg/m³ and India with 54.4 μg/m³.

Only seven countries, on the other hand, met the prescribed annual average PM2.5 of 5 μg/m³, namely, Australia, Estonia, Finland, Grenada, Iceland, Mauritius and New Zealand.

Three territories also recorded safe levels of PM2.5 concentration, specifically, Puerto Rico, Bermuda and French Polynesia.

French Polynesia had the cleanest air quality with only 3.2 μg/m³, followed by Mauritius at 3.5 μg/m³ and Iceland with 4 μg/m³.


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TAGS: pollution, Southeast Asia

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