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Editorial | Haze in the city

The haze sweeping through Mindanao and the Visayas should be taken seriously. While reports from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) say that our air quality is still within the good to fair level, it is still necessary to take precautions, especially the elderly and those who are vulnerable health-wise.
Some who were on an early morning jog yesterday already noticed haze which they reckoned could be from the Calinan area. While we who are living at the low lying areas may not notice it, haze could be swirling in our midst. Haze can lead to all sorts of respiratory ailments and affect visibility especially at night and has impact on the economy. Many flights have been cancelled in Indonesia, Malaysia and even Singapore due to the haze.

The DENR has observed a significant increase in the level of pollutants (see headline story) which means that people with respiratory problems should take precautionary measures.

But then, it seems it’s a little too early to blame it on the raging Indonesian forest fire. The DENR said that the haze that we are now seeing (at least in Calinan) might not be caused by particulate matter from the Indonesian forest fires but from burning of biomass. Even if the air quality is within the Good and Fair level, officials say that this does not mean we are cleared of health hazards.

Whatever the cause may be, those with respiratory problems should take precautions, those who are driving at night should take extra care to prevent road crashes, and for people to keep up to date with news advisories.

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