A Joint Capacity Building/Benchmarking Activity was conducted to provide a venue for the sharing of learnings and best practices related to the Airshed Governing Board (GB). The event, which was held on October 25, 2016 at the Sequoia Hotel, Quezon City, was graced by the Airshed GB Members of the National Capital Region and Tacloban City, was aimed to discuss the current initiatives geared toward air pollution control. The participants were welcomed by Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Assistant Director Jacqueline Caancan, emphasizing that the current initiatives of the EMB to curb air pollution should be supported by the various sectors to ensure the sustainability of the programs. She also commended the efforts of the EMB National Capital Region to maintain and monitor the thirteen (13) Air Quality Management Systems that are strategically located in areas within the metro. Assistant Director Caancan also mentioned that she hopes that Tacloban City Airshed Governing Board will consider replicating the best practices and learnings shared by the NCR Airshed GB.
Members of the NCR Airshed GB were also given the opportunity to present the current initiatives of the Board since it was institutionalized. Since the Airshed GB is a multisectoral and interagency committee, presentors included Mr. Rene Pineda of Partnership of Clean Air; Mr. Dante Santiago, City Environment and Natural Resource Officer of San Juan; Mr. Edgar Valzar of De La Salle University; Dr. Ed Alabastro of the Federation of Philippine Industry. The presentations centered on the initiatives of the sectors they represent, as well as their contribution in the Airshed GB given their spheres of influence.
On her speech, EMB-NCR Regional Director Vizminda A. Osorio emphasized that the sharing of best experiences and issues and concerns should be a practice among program implementors in the different regions. This way, it will be more systematic to resolve future undertakings, and will also result to an easier formulation of interventions that will strengthen our goal to protect the environment.
Mr. Jonathan Hijade of the Local Government Unit of Tacloban City also shared the environmental programs and activities that are currently being implemented in the City.