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While we’re aware that most waterways in Metro Manila and other parts of the Philippines are hyper-polluted, did you know that a city in our country has the cleanest air in Southeast Asia?

According to a study done by Swiss-based group IQ AirVisual, 11 of the cleanest cities in the list are in the Philippines, including the top city which is Calamba in Laguna.

The report focuses on PM2.5 or the particulate matter (ambient airborne particles) which measure up to 2.5 microns in size, and has a range of chemical makeups and sources.

“Particulate matter is also the pollutant group which affects the most people globally. It can come from a range of natural as well as man-made sources. Common sources of PM include combustion (from vehicle engines, industry, wood and coal burning), as well as through other pollutants reacting in the atmosphere,” it wrote.

In this case, there’s only around 9.3 µg/m³ of PM2.5 in Calamba, which is pursuant to the annual mean exposure threshold of the World Health Organization at 10 µg/m³.

The other Philippine cities included are Valenzuela (2nd), Carmona (3rd), Parañaque (5th), Davao (6th), Makati (7th), Manila (8th), Mandaluyong (9th), Balanga (12th), Quezon City (13th), and Las Piñas (15th). 

However, Meycauyan, Bulacan, and Caloocan ranked 7th and 11th, respectively, in the Most Polluted Regional Cities in SEA.

Overall, Philippines is at the 48th place (with rank 1 being the worst and rank 73 being the best) in the list of countries in the world with the highest average estimated PM2.5 concentration per cubic meter of air. Bangladesh ranked first with 97.1 estimated average PM2.5 concentration.

The IQ AirVisual report is based on 2018 air quality data from public monitoring sources, with a focus on data which has been published in real-time or near real-time. Their sources include government monitoring networks, as well as validated data from air quality monitors operated by private individuals and organizations. 

You can download a copy of the report here.

Header image from FLICKR via MANILA BULLETIN

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