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What needs to be changed in the Philippines?

Published at http://sites.rnw.nl/rnwcontest/

What needs to be changed in the Philippines?
By Rhea B. Peñaflor

What needs to be changed in the Philippines? What can we do to contribute in making the world a better place to live? Recently, I have watched a local TV program where we are warned that in downtown area in Iloilo City, the air is becoming like Manila where it is no longer safe to breathe as the number one air pollutant remains to be coming from vehicle gas emissions particularly public jeepneys. 90% of urban air pollution is caused by the emission of harmful smoke by these 'King of the Roads'. This is alarming as every day of our lives, we, the common people are commuting by jeepney when we go to work, school or whichever destination. While it is true this car is also a symbol of our culture, it is also important that we do our duty to balance culture and responsibility towards our fellowmen. What you can see that comes out of the jeepney's muffler is pure black smoke. What caused vehicles to emit pollutants is the poor fuel quality. We have exclusively depended on imported fossil fuels such as diesel and gasoline which emits carbon monoxide, non-methane organic gas, oxides of nitrogen, and carbon dioxide. The Phillipine Clean Air Act of 1999 defines 'Greenhouse gases' as those gases that can potentially or can reasonably be expected to induce global warming, which include carbon dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, chloroflourocarbons, and the like. It is high time to be vigilant to push for cleaner alternative fuels after all other calamities and environmental crisis which we recently face. This is no longer a wait and see situation. If I were to be asked, a bike lane should be provided in all cities, municipalities and provinces so that those who wanted to counter vehicles' continuous poisoning of our air will be put to a halt. Instead, people who are able to bike can at least make a point - that we still wanted to live. And that we still wanted to leave a legacy to our children that the air they will breathe is safe. And that we have not been selfish.

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