Barangay Mabolo in Cebu City and barangays Inuburan and Langtad in Naga City in southern Cebu have polluted air according to the EMB-7.
The EMB-7 also raised water pollution alert in two rivers, Butuanon River in Mandaue City and Guadalupe River in Cebu City.
Both rivers have long been declared biologically dead waterways that cannot support life.
Barangays Inuburan and Langtad in Naga City, and barangay Mabolo, failed in the one-year “ambient air quality monitoring” of EMB-7 that ended in December last year.
“High population density and concentration of industries contribute to the air pollution,” said Riza Saberon, chief of the Planning, Education and Infromation Office of EMB-7.
Saberon said many factors cause air pollution but the main sources are e industrial factories and motor vehicles.
The higher the population in an area, the more motor vehicles plying the streets.
Naga City hosts a coal-fired power plant and a cement factory, while barangay Mabolo in Cebu City is highly urbanized.
EMB-7 installed five ambient air monitoring samplers in different places in Cebu to monitor the air quality.
Engineer Marco Andrew Silveron of EMB-7 said their monitors can detect dust and smaller particles suspended in the air.
The monitoring system installed 10 years ago in the University of San Carlos-Talamban Campus (USC-TC) can monitor air quality in the Cebu City airshed.
Silveron said the devices can detect pollutants like nitrogen oxides (NOx) and suspended particles.
Saberon said they are checking industrial companies in Cebu whether they meet the “standard emission” before a “permit to operate” is approved.
Meanwhile, two rivers in Cebu were tagged as “polluted” by the EMB-7.
Engineer Fatima Omoso of EMB-7 said the Butuanon River in Mandaue City and the Guadalupe River in Cebu City did not meet the water quality standards set by Department Administrative Order 35.
“These two rivers were not able to meet the standards in terms of dissolved oxygen and biochemical oxygen demand.” Omoso told Cebu Daily News.
She said this means both rivers cannot support plant and animal life.
Aside from the water sampling conducted in the two rivers, Omoso cited the visible garbage in the two rivers.
The EMB-7 has been monitoring five rivers, one channel, and two coastal waters in Cebu, Omoso said.
The five rivers are the Butuanon River in Mandaue City, Sapangdaku river in Toledo City, Guadalupe River in Cebu City, the Luyang River in Carmen town, northern Cebu and the Guidarohan River in Minglanilla town, southern Cebu.
EMB-7 has also been monitoring the waters in the Hilutungan Channel in Mactan Island and the coastal waters in Balamban town and Toledo City.
Omoso said that EMB-7 is monitoring the “critical” rivers and coastal waters in Cebu.
Yesterday, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed by the Water Body Program (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) and donor partners of the “Adopt a River” program at the Diamond Suites Hotel in Cebu City.
Omoso explained that the partner companies in Cebu will conduct a quarterly cleanup in selected rivers and coastal waters in Cebu.
With the “Adopt a River” project, EMB-7 is looking forward to reduce the incidence of water-related diseases and those associated with poor sanitation such as cholera, diarrhea, and dengue; ensure unimpeded water flow, and prevent incidence of flooding and risks to lives and properties. /Rhea Ruth V. Rosell, Reporter