PRESIDENTIAL aspirant and former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. yesterday said he wants to improve the air quality in the country as part of his program to promote a pollution-free country that will help boost the economy, particularly the health care and labor system.
Marcos, standard-bearer of the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP), reacted to the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air and the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities reports that air pollution is costing the Philippines P4.5 trillion a year.
“Mahalaga na malinis at ligtas ang mga lugar na ating ginagalawan at hinihingahan kaya importante na maalagaan natin ang kalidad ng hangin at matiyak na maso-solusyunan ang problema ng bansa sa air pollution dahil konektado ito sa ating ekonomiya,” Marcos said in a statement.
The report added that about 66,000 premature deaths from non-communicable diseases and lower respiratory infections each year are directly linked to pollution.
It said the current air quality in the country is equivalent to smoking at least one cigarette a day.
“Gumagastos tayo ng malaki ng hindi natin alam dahil sa problema sa polusyon. Malaki ang epekto nito sa ating ekonomiya at pang-araw-araw na buhay kaya dapat lamang na matugunan ito sa lalong madaling panahon,” Marcos noted.
He made the call even as representatives from nearly 200 countries have gathered in Glasgow for painstaking talks aimed at keeping the world within the Paris Agreement goal of limiting temperature rise to between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius.
Earth’s surface has warmed 1.1 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels so far, magnifying weather extremes across the planet.
And the world is on track to surge beyond the Paris Agreement target of limiting heating to between 1.5C and 2C.
Even considering a new round of carbon-cutting pledges this year, Earth’s surface will still warm a “catastrophic” 2.7C, the United Nations has calculated.
Isabella Suarez, a CREA analyst, said the detrimental health effects snowball into economic costs that affect the health care and labor system.
“Neglecting air pollution comes with a heavy bill in the form of increased health-care and welfare costs as well as loss of labor and economic productivity,” Suarez said.
The study showed that of the P4.5 trillion annual cost to pollution, 98 percent or P4.43 trillion is lost to premature deaths that result in lost livelihoods and economic productivity.
“Kailangan nating wakasan ang problema sa polusyon para na rin sa mga susunod pang henerasyon at may maabutan silang ligtas at maayos na hangin. Kaya ito po ay pagtutuunan natin ng pansin,” Marcos added.