The Tagbilaran City Health Office (CHO) on Friday urged the public to take precautionary measures against the possible presence of haze blown in from the Indonesia forest fires.
There has been no official declaration that haze is causing air quality in Bohol to deteriorate like in Metro Cebu but Tagbilaran City Health Officer Dr. Jeia Pondoc advised residents in the city to avoid going outdoors and to wear masks, preferably N95 masks as precaution.
“Kanang N95 mas maka-protect g’yud kay mohaom man sa imong naw’ng pero kadtong usual na mask naa g’yuy maagian na dagkong pores so dili kaayo siya makada og protection,” she said.
Pondoc advised the public to avoid strenuous activities and to keep hydrated. She also suggested for those experiencing respiratory ailments to take medication and seek medical attention.
“Dili ta magkompyansa, especially tong mga hubakon, naay history na dali ma allergy,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Environmental Management Bureau 7 reported that PM 2.5 (fine particulate matter) was at 43.7 micrograms per normal cubic meter (ug/Ncm) in Metro Cebu as of 3 p.m. on Friday.
The EMB 7 said that the level was already within the safe guideline value of 50 ug/Ncm but still beyond the normal levels for the metropolitan area of 15 to 30 ug/Ncm.
PM 2.5 is a particulate matter or a dust particle measuring 2.5 micrometers in diameter, or about 3 percent the diameter of a human hair strand.
In Bohol, the EMB 7 has no capability to gauge the concentration of airborne pollutants including PM 2.5 due to lack of equipment.
EMB 7 information officer Cindy Pepito-Ochea earlier said that haze was seen blanketing the Visayas based on a satellite image obtained by the agency.
However, there is no monitoring station in Bohol which could determine if air quality in the province, like in Metro Cebu, deteriorated due to pollutants from the transboundary haze believed to have originated in wild fire-struck Sumatra, Indonesia.
“Naigo na g’yud ang Visayas but as to the level of concentration dili ta maka determine for Bohol because wala tay monitoring station diha,” Ochea said in an earlier interview. (R. Tutas)