DENR experts boarding NASA flights to study Metro Manila's air pollution | Inquirer News

DENR experts boarding NASA flights to study Metro Manila’s air pollution

/ 07:24 PM February 04, 2024

2011 SPACE ODYSSEY. The Space Shuttle Atlantis approaches the International Space Station for docking on July 10 with the teal-colored shallows around the Bahamas below. Atlantis glided home through a moonlit sky early Thursday for its final landing at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. That’s how the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s longest-running spaceflight program came to a close. (File photo dated July 22, 2011 from AFP/NASA)

MANILA, Philippines — Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is set to partner with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the United States.

They will go on a mission to study better the air pollution in Metro Manila and its surrounding regions.


DENR Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga made the announcement on Sunday.


According to Loyzaga, NASA will be conducting scientific research flights to evaluate the atmosphere of Metro Manila and its neighboring provinces.

“This collaboration with NASA and other respected partners will lead to significant advances in our understanding of air pollution and our ability to tackle this pressing issue,” Loyzaga said.

Experts from DENR will board the flights of NASA, the DENR chief said, as quoted in a statement from Presidential Communications Office (PCO).

“The data gathered from the research flights will be used in our programs to mitigate air quality issues that affect public health and to address climate change,” she added.

DENR’s collaboration with NASA is part of the space agency’s ‘Airborne and Satellite Investigation of Asian Air Quality.’

The plan seeks to study air quality in the Asian region with the help of environmental experts from South Korea, Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand.


In the Philippines, NASA will also work with Philippine Space Agency, Manila Observatory, Ateneo de Manila University, and University of the Philippines.

“The collaboration will help to improve air quality models, provide accurate forecasts, and develop effective policies to ensure better air quality in the future,” Loyzaga said.

DENR’s Air Quality Index (AQI) showed as of Sunday evening, cities in Metro Manila – including Manila, Parañaque, Pasig, and Taguig – have ‘good’ air quality.

Manila has the highest AQI value of 35 and Taguig has the lowest at eight.

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A higher AQI value links to more health concerns related to air pollution, DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau previously explained.

TAGS: air pollution, DENR, Metro Manila, NASA

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