By Gerald O. Enguero
This city government’s anti-pollution campaign has taken a more aggressive step with the procurement recently of modern equipment to check air quality and a plan to purchase a bio-reactor to boost the oxygen level of the Naga River at any given time.
With its recently-purchased Opacimeter, Orozco said they have stepped up the campaign against smoke-belching vehicles which are the heaviest contributors to air pollution. By inserting the equipment into the exhaust system of the vehicle and other gas-guzzling machines, his office can now determine how much pollutants are thrown into the air.
Orozco reported that as of October this year, out of the 231 vehicles on the road tested, 109 failed which have been warned or penalized under City Ordinance 990-84 that prohibits smoke-belching vehicles from plying the city’s roads and highways.
For water preservation and maintenance, Orozco’s office is strictly enforcing the salient provisions of the Clean Water Act, which, among others, call for higher Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) level in the bodies of water such as the river.
Orozco disclosed that with a Bio-Reactor which was recently loaned by the Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA), they were able to sustain the required oxygen level of the Naga River.
He said that upon testing they found out that the river’s oxygen level ranged from 1.8 milliliter to 2 milliliter which was way below the average required oxygen level of 10 milliliter per liter. This means, Orozco said, that the river was no longer suitable for aquatic life formation, unless remedial measures were done.
With the Bio-Reactor that the city government plans to purchase after three months of actual demonstration, Orozco said, his office was able to increase the oxygen level and water quality of the Naga River where the equipment as part of the process also consumed the organic pollutants found in the river.
By Mar S. Arguelles
Joselin Marcus Fragada, DENR regional executive director, lauded the CSNHS for garnering the most coveted top award among regional high schools in the country.
“This should serve as an inspiration among our local academe, to do well and strive harder to pursue a green institution, wherein students are highly aware of their roles in keeping our environment sustainable and protected,” Fragada said.
A second placer in the 2009 search, the CSNHS strived even harder and finally triumphed among the country’s eco-friendly schools by coveting the national championship this year.
Recognized for its sustainable environment-friendly programs, CSNHS was adjudged as Bicol’s most eco-friendly school in school year 2011, having pushed its environmental programs and projects to the fore of the school’s curricula.
The DENR, together with the Department of Education (DepEd), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Smart Communications, identified nine schools for the national championships in the 2011 National Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Schools.
Handing out the awards in simple ceremonies held Wednesday last week, Nov. 16, at SM City North EDSA were DENR Assistant Secretary for Management and Finance Corazon Davis, representing DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje; Smart’s Community Partnerships senior manager Darwin Flores; DepEd’s Nutrition Division head Dr. Juan Araojo Jr.; and CHED Director William Malitao.
In a speech read by Davis, Paje described as “overwhelming” the schools’ response to the call for entries to the competition.
The nine national champions were chosen from 45 regional champions representing the elementary, high school and college levels. For the elementary level, Iliranan Elementary School of San Carlos City in Negros Occidental, Kibawe Central School in Kibawe, Bukidnon, and San Mariano Elementary School in Roxas, Oriental Mindoro were proclaimed first, second and third placers, respectively.
In the college level, De La Salle University – Dasmariñas in Cavite, Palawan State University in Puerto Princesa City, and Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City were awarded first, second and third placers, respectively.
The national champions each received plaques of recognition and cash prizes of P50,000 for first place, P40,000 for second place, and P30,000 for third place.
The awarding coincided with the celebration of National Environmental Awareness Month this November, as provided for under Republic Act No. 9512, also known as the National Environmental Awareness and Education Act of 2008.
Now on its second run, the nationwide competition aims to recognize educational institutions from elementary to college levels that have the best sustainable and environment-friendly programs and activities.
The activity is the Philippines’ initiative in support of the ASEAN Environmental Education Action Plan (2008-2012), and the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014).
Sustainable Development (2005-2014).