DENR marks Ozone Month

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is gearing up for the national celebration of Ozone Month this September by stepping up the drive against substances that harm the ozone layer and lead to global warming.

DENR Regional Executive Director Joselin Marcus Fragada said that the special environmental event officially kicked off in Bicol Region last Aug. 23, 2010 with a comprehensive month-long information dissemination campaign on the DENR – Environmental Management Bureau’s “Marhay na Aga Kapalibutan” radio program at Radyo Veritas Legazpi City.

Fragada added that the DENR – EMB has lined-up various activities in support to the Ozone Month with the theme- “Ozone Layer Protection: Governance and Compliance at their Best.”

Among the events slated are the Nationwide Roadside Mobile Air Conditioners (MAC) Testing and Regional Forum on Ozone Layer Protection and Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) Phase-out Program on September 16 and region-wide media information campaign.

The DENR is inviting the public to have their own vehicles’ refrigerant tested for free during the simultaneous nationwide roadside MAC testing on Sept. 16 or may visit the EMB Regional Office V Rawis, Legazpi City.

As signatory to the Kyoto and Montreal Protocols, international treaties which both aim to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere to reduce global warming, the Philippine government has required owners of vehicles with models prior to 1999 to use environment-friendly refrigerants in their MACs before renewing their annual registration.

According to EMB Director Juan Miguel Cuna, MAC servicing is the largest consumer of chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs, a GHG believed to be harmful to the ozone layer. “MAC servicing consumes as much as 933 tons of ozone depleting potential or ODP tons. Using ozone-friendly MACs will definitely reduce the amount of CFC released into the atmosphere,” he said.

Fragada urged Bicolanos to be eco-friendly consumers and purchase ODS-free refrigerators, MACs, propellants, foams and metered-dose inhalers.

Meanwhile, the EMB’s Philippine Ozone Desk signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Philippine Postal Corporation for the printing of commemorative stamps depicting the 25th anniversary of the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer on Sept. 1. Around 49,000 stamps are set to be issued in the 4th quarter of this year.

On Sept. 13, the DENR will sign a contract with Delsa Chemicals and Multi-Products, Inc. as the former launches the “Collection, Transport and Storage of Recovered Refrigerants from Service Shop Voucher Grantees and Chiller Owners under the National CFC Phase-out Plan (NCPP) Project.”

Under the contract, Delsa Chemicals will undertake the collection, transport and storage of refrigerants recovered from recovery machines provided in 2007 by the NCPP’s voucher system to over 2,500 service shops.

The year 2010 is also the 23rd Anniversary of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, where the Philippines is one of 196 signatory-members. The Montreal Protocol has been recognized around the world as the most effective multilateral environmental treaty ever implemented, and the country’s being a member is proof of our commitment to reduce global warming.

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