The Department of Health (DOH) is eyeing a proactive initiative to combat the issue of pollution and promote cleaner air.


herbosa - quizol.jpg
Health Secretary Teodor Herbosa  (ARNOLD QUIZOL / MANILA BULLETIN)


“Mayroon kaming pina-plano, magkakaroon tayo ng bike advocacy, we will have a National Bike Day and we will advocate for everyone to have biking once a day to work. Pati ako magba-bike, papunta akong Quezon City to my office, isasama ko kayo (media), mag bike din kayo ("We have a plan, we will have bike advocacy, we will have a National Bike Day, and we will encourage everyone to bike to work once a day. Even I will bike, going from Quezon City to my office, and I invite you (the media) to join me and bike as well),” Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa said in an interview on the sidelines of the 1st Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC) HIV Summit in Pasay City on Friday, Sept. 8. 

The said bike advocacy initiative, Herbosa explained, is aligned with global efforts to reduce pollution, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and improve public health by encouraging sustainable modes of transportation.

Smog and health concerns

For two days, (Sept. 7 and 8), a heavy layer of pollution surrounded Manila --- raising concerns among health experts and citizens.


Herbosa also addressed these smog concerns and provided insights into the health effects of pollution.

He explained that smog is a harmful combination of pollutants in the air and that long-term exposure can lead to permanent damage to the lungs by accumulating dangerous substances in air sacs.

“Kung mataas ang smog, dust and particles, mag face mask. So alam nyo na ‘yun kung maghihintay kayo dyan sa EDSA, binubugahan kayo ng mga usok, magmask kayo. Magsuot kayo ng mask in areas na mataas ang pollution (If smog, dust, and particles levels are high, wear a face mask. So, you know what to do if you're waiting there on EDSA, where you're exposed to smoke – put on a mask. Wear a mask in areas with high pollution),” Herbosa stated.

The Philippines, as reported by the Philippine Air Quality Index, ranked 69th in terms of worst air quality in 2022. (Zekinah Elize Espina)

Source: Manila Bulletin (