Members of the governing board and technical working group of Tacloban Airshed, of which Volunteer for the Visayans (VFV) sits as a board member, embarked on a Capacity Building/Benchmarking activity for Tacloban Airshed Governing Board and Technical Working Group members at the National Capital Region from October 24-28, 2016.
Its purpose was to enable members of the board and technical working to grasp the best practices of NCR Airshed and adopt such for implementation at Tacloban Airshed. Tacloban Airshed aims to improve and maintain good air quality in the area and reduce negative impacts on human health and environment.
This activity opened with a general orientation presented by the National Capital Region (NCR) Airshed, talking about the issues and concern they have encountered from the beginning up to present, best practices, and present actions and plans for the future of the airshed. A representative from Tacloban City government was tasked to share a status update about Tacloban Airshed for the benefit of the members of NRC Airshed.
The following days involved field tours around National Capital Region. We paid a courtesy visit to the office of Environmental Management Bureau-National Capital Region (EMB-NCR) and were shown the laboratory which holds the display of the monitoring stations of NCR Airshed.
We were able to get an idea of the air quality of a specific area through the data gathered from the monitoring stations. It was not enough for us to be shown only the results, we had to see the equipments that monitor air quality. We visited Continuous Ambient Air Monitoring Stations (CAMS) that measure the quality and type of air pollutants in a given outdoor area. We also visited differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS) which is used to measure trace gases such as zone and nitrogen dioxide.
The benchmarking activity was a learning experience for all of us.
VFV, as a social welfare institution advocates for the protection of the environment hence we joined Tacloban Airshed. Our concern for the community must be holistic. This means helping towards maintaining a safe and healthy environment for the people.