CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 18 September) – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Environmental Management Bureau has detected small amounts of the Indonesian haze over this city but said “nothing conclusive yet.”
Florencio Dominguez Jr. head of the Environmental Monitoring and Enforcement in Region 10, said their air quality monitoring equipment detected the increase of particles in the air over Cagayan de Oro last weekend.
Dominguez said they first detected a slight increase when their Thoren Air Sampler detected an increase to 34 micrograms from 25 micrograms last Saturday.
He said their equipment monitored a spike from 34 micrograms to 54 micrograms last Sunday.
Dominguez said the DENR has set the normal air quality at 50 micrograms
“Our tests have nothing conclusive yet. We need more test results to come up with a trend,” Dominguez said.
Unfortunately, Dominguez said only the DENR regional office in Barangay Puntod has the Thoren Air Sampler capable of detecting haze from Indonesia’s forest fires.
He said the plan to set up similar equipment in Ozamiz City, Malaybalay City and one more in Cagayan de Oro has been set aside for lack of funds.
“We have only one of this air sampler in the entire region,” Dominguez said as he showed reporters the equipment.
The EMB in Cebu said they have detected the haze in the Visayas and SOCCSKSARGEN but have not linked it directly to the haze in Indonesia.
Dominguez said it is possible that favorable winds have carried the haze to the Philippines with the prevailing southwest rains.
He said they are hampered with the lack of monitoring equipment in Ozamiz and Iligan. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)