Environment advocate pushes for policy-oriented methods to improve air quality in PH
MANILA, Philippines — A non-government organization and climate advocate pushed for a policy-oriented method to help elevate the air quality in the Asia Pacific as the Philippines’ air quality does not meet the standards of the World Health Organization (WHO).
During an international forum arranged by the United Nations earlier this month, the group Clean Air Asia said that different actors should collaborate to enforce air quality standards and consolidate clean air and climate action plans.
“In this day and age, it’s important that we recognize policy and technology solutions are key to ensuring significant and efficient emission reduction in our cities and in national governments,” Dang Espita-Casanova, Program Manager of Clean Air Asia said.
“This process we believe should be participatory, inclusive, and highlights the co-benefits of actions so that we are able to engage and enlist support from all actors in the space,” she added.
Several environmental groups have also been suggesting the shift to electric vehicles to help cut down carbon emissions in the country, which is being promoted under the Republic Act No. 1169 or An Act Providing for the Development of the Electric Vehicle Industry in the Philippines.
In other countries in Southeast Asia like Indonesia, Brunei, Burma, Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand, governments are also ramping up their shift to EVs by introducing policies to promote it.
In Laos, the government imposed a zero-percent tariff for the importation of EVs, which also has an excise tax of only three percent, a value-added tax of seven percent lower, and vowed to not impose restrictions on EVs.
Indonesia, on the other hand, exempted e-vehicles from sales and luxury sales tax and is set to allot $320 million to incentivize the purchase of EVs.
The Department of Energy aims to limit the sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2040 where EVs shall account for half of all vehicles plying the roads in the Philippines.
Different types of EVs were also given tax breaks and removal for the first five years under Executive Order No. 12 series of 2023, with the exception of electric motorcycles, which drew the ire of several groups and think tanks.
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According to the Land Transportation Office, motorcycles consist of the majority of motorists in the country, with around eight million units registered to the body.
Data from WHO states that 25 percent of the Philippines’ population is exposed to unhealthy air of about PM2.5 concentration, which is at least five times more than a global recommendation.
This is mainly due to the emission of greenhouse gasses, primarily from the transport sector which contributes over 80 percent of the country’s total emissions.
Pollution costs P4.5 trillion, 66,000 lives every year
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