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Small amounts of Indon haze particles detected in Oro

By FROILAN GALLARDO,
Special Correspondent

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources detected small amounts of the Indonesian haze over this city but said nothing “is conclusive yet.”

Florencio Dominguez Jr. showed reporters the Thermo Particle Air Sampler, the only equipment that can detect in Northern Mindanao, Photo by Froilan Gallardo.

Florencio Dominguez Jr. head of the DENR Environmental Monitoring and Enforcement in Region 10, said the Department’s air quality monitoring equipment detected the increase of particles in the air over Cagayan de Oro last weekend.

Dominguez said they first detected a slight increase when their Thoren Air Sampler detected an increase to 34 micrograms from 25 micrograms on Saturday.

He said that on Sunday,  the DENR monitored a spike from 34 micrograms to 54 micrograms.

Dominguez said the DENR has set the normal air quality at 50 micrograms

“Our tests have nothing that’s conclusive yet. We need more test results to come up with a trend,” Dominguez said.

Unfortunately, Dominguez said, only the DENR regional office in Barangay Puntod has the Thoren Air Sampler capable of detecting the Indonesian haze.

He said the plan to set up similar equipment in Ozamiz City, Malaybalay City and one more in Cagayan de Oro have been set aside for lack of funds.

“We have only one of this air sampler in the entire region,” Dominguez showed reporters the equipment in the DENR regional Office in Barangay Puntod, Cagayan de Oro.

The DENR environment and Management Bureau in Cebu said they have detected the haze in the Visayas and Soccskargen but have not linked it directly to the haze in Indonesia.

Dominguez said it is possible that favorable winds have carried the haze to the Philippines with the prevailing southwest rains.

He said they are hampered with the lack of monitoring equipment in Ozamiz and Iligan.

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