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NAT SCI III

Isaias S. Pastrana Jr.

ASSIGNMENT # 1

PH nearing total phase out of ozone-depleting substances


Coron, Palawan Soon, the imperilled ozone layer will be all smiles on the Philippines
that is, if figures from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) are to
be the basis.
Latest numbers from the departments Environmental Management Bureau Philippine
Ozone Desk (EMB-POD) show the country is on its way to totally phasing out all substances
that harm the ozone layer.
All [substances] have been phased out according to the commitment period, DENR-EMBPOD Program Manager Ella Deocadiz said in her presentation during the recent three-day
Media Workshop on Ozone and Climate Linkages spearheaded by DENR here.Currently, the
only remaining substance for phase-out in the Philippines is hydrochlorofluorocarbons
(HCFC).
Substances that have been phased out as of January 1, 2010 mostly ahead of target
schedule are chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, carbon tetrachlorides (CTCs), methyl
chloroforms (MCs), non-quarantine and pre-shipment methyl bromides (MBs). These
substances are chlorinated, fluorinated or brominated hydrocarbons, which can react with
ozone molecules in the stratosphere and deplete the protective layer. They are thus called
ozone-depleting substances (ODS).
Ozone depletion or damage occurs when these chlorinated, fluorinated or brominated
hydrocarbons react with molecules in the stratosphere, where the ozone layer is found. The
stratospheric ozone layer serves as the Earths natural shield that protects everyone in the
planet from the suns harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. A damaged ozone layer means easy
penetration to the Earths surface for these suns UV rays.
Ozone depletion, which has rapidly increased since the 1950s, is more widely known as the
ozone hole phenomenon.

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NAT SCI III

Isaias S. Pastrana Jr.

By commitment period, Deocadiz was referring to the target date of phase out of the said
substances, as committed by the Philippines to the Montreal Protocol (MP), where the
country is one of the developing country signatories. MP identified and started to regulate
these substances when the global agreement was drawn up in September 1987.
In the Philippines, CTCs have been phased out by January 1, 1996, four years before its 2010
schedule. HCFCs are expected to be phased out by 2040, with the first target of 10 percent by
next year.
Prior to phase-out, ODS are practcally everywhere from aerosols (which contain CFCs),
to fire extinguishers (halons), to computer circuit board (cleaned using solvents with CFCs
and MCs).
HCFCs and HCFC-containing blends are man-made chemicals widely used as refrigerants,
foam blowing and fire extinguishing agents, aerosol propellants, solvents and as feedstock in
chemical production, Deocadiz said.
Unknown to many Filipinos, HCFCs are all over shopping malls, as they have chillers and
centralized air-conditioners, which particularly use HCFC123, as coolers. Going to malls has
practically become a national pastime, especially during the peak of the summer heat.
To assist the country in reducing the consumption of HCFCs, the Philippines HCFC Phaseout Management Plan (HPMP) under the United Nations Environment Programme was
approved in 2012. Financially supported by the Multilateral Fund, HPMP primarily deals
with the consumption or importation and usage of HCFCs.
A total of 162.86 ozone depletion potential (ODP) tonnes is the baseline HCFC consumption
in the country; importation-wise, base level in 2013 was 2,644 metric tonnes (MT). By 2015,
HCFC import are expected to have been gradually reduced to 2,379.6 MT or by 10 percent.
HCFC-22, widely used in the air-conditioner manufacturing and servicing sectors, accounts
for 67 percent of the consumption; HCFC-141b (foam and solvent sectors), 32 percent; and
HCFC-123 (commercial/industrial air conditioning and fire extinguishing sectors), one
percent.

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NAT SCI III

Isaias S. Pastrana Jr.

Abit of rain; a lot of flood


A new and comprehensive drainage and sewerage system for Quezon Citys central business
area (CBA) has been proposed to prevent Typhoon Ondoy-like floods from engulfing the
city.
First District Councilor Alexis Herrera said there is an urgent need for a long term and
permanent solution to the flooding woes in the city particularly in the area of SM North and
Trinoma on Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) and North Avenue.
He noted that at present, the Quezon City government, in coordination with the Department
of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Metropolitan Manila Development
Authority (MMDA), is focused only on short-term solutions like the clearing of constricted
water passageways and drainage system to prevent the accumulation of water in certain areas.
It can only solve the problem up to a certain extent. Because of the limitations of the
existing drainage system the Ondoy tragedy has a dreadful possibility of happening
again, Herrera said.
Herrera said the surface water from the northern part of EDSA can be taken by huge catch
manholes leading to Mindanao Avenue, Quirino Avenue and C.P. Garcia towards Tullahan
River, Tenejeros Waterway and finally out to Manila Bay.
At present, during heavy rains the surface water in the area flow towards the heavily-silted
San Juan-San Francisco River where the Mariblo Creek and Aranan Creek are connected
going to Pasig River and finally out to Laguna de Bay.
Since the citys drainage system is unable to properly address the flooding woes of Quezon
City, Herrera noted that an additional or alternate drainage channel needs to be constructed to
adequately redirect floodwater out of the city.
TREE-PLANTING
Business and civic groups have been encouraged to incorporate tree-planting activities in
their yearly celebration to help minimize the ill effects of climate change.

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NAT SCI III

Isaias S. Pastrana Jr.

Of course we should find suitable places to plant trees. You cannot just conduct your treeplanting activities on the sidewalks or middle of the road. There should be proper
coordination between the groups and concerned agencies, said Quezon City First District
Councilor Victor Ferrer Jr.
It will be a significant public service for civic-oriented groups and the business community
if they will include environmental-conservation activities like tree-planting to commemorate
their anniversaries, Ferrer said.

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NAT SCI III

Isaias S. Pastrana Jr.

10 most important environmental issues facing the world


There are major environmental issues that require urgent attention to make the ecology
friendly.
Global warming: This has been considered as the most pressing environmental issue.
Climate change is real and it is influenced by human activities through the production of
green house gases such as methane and carbon dioxide. Global warming is necessitated by
the ability of our ecosystem to respond to climate change due to compromised environment.
Global warming has the effect of melting polar ice caps, displacing people form tropical and
coastal islands and can ultimately threaten the survival of human race.
Clean and Renewable energy: This is second only to climate change. The human race is
faced with the environmental problem of cleaning up or replacing the burning of fossil fuels
that enhanced industrial revolution during 18th century. Unless a clean and renewable energy
is found as an alternative, our planet risks being turned into an inhabitable and hostile not fit
for human survival. There is need for the development and adoption of clean energy.
Ocean system collapse: Oceans are critical part of Earths support system and are considered
to pose huge risks and sink for atmospheric oxygen and carbon dioxide. It is important to
prevent ocean systems from collapse since the over exploitation of oceans might result in the
collapse of the fishing industry. Acid rain resulting from industrial pollution has pollutes
oceans and seas hence killing coral reefs; this has the effect of threatening tourism. Oceans
are degraded by spills, run off chemicals.
Electronic & Nuclear Waste: This type of wastes can cause massive pollution and several
health complications. Millions of electronic products such as computers, laptops, television
sets and mobile phones are discarded annually in developed countries and dumped into third
world societies. The recovery of these products in the developing economies can result in the
release of hazardous materials such as lead, mercury, heavy metals and many other toxic
substances. This will harm the workers that are exposed to the dangerous materials. These
wastes are the modern environmental threats due to technological advancements. The
disposal of nuclear wastes from the reactors poses major risks to the environment. Nuclear
wastes such as Plutonium-239 are very dangerous when released to the environment, same to
isotopes. Currently there are 31 countries with nuclear reactors.
Water degradation: In the modern world the quality of water is under threat form the fast
growing population. The quality of inland water is under compromise from dumped industrial
and chemical wastes, untreated sewage, medicinal residues and fertilizes and chemical run
off. The above activities worsen the already existing problem of water pollution. The

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NAT SCI III

Isaias S. Pastrana Jr.

increased use of underground water in coastal regions results in the intrusion of salt water.
Water wars are not becoming a reality.
Land rush: The worlds population is growing at a faster rate. This has led to large number
of people being declared food-insecure; this has therefore resulted in land rush since nations
are scrambling to secure land for agriculture and also to grow bio-energy crops to generate
cheap fuels. Slashing and burning of forests is an ever increasing practice and it can lead to
biodiversity and ecosystems loss as well as land degradation. According to the UNEP,
approximately 5 million hectares of land is annually lost through soil erosion and land
degradation. Pastoralists and cattle ranchers are plundering the Amazon rain forest at an
alarming rate.
Biodiversity conservation: Biodiversity is critical for the survival of the ecosystem because
it can help in food production, disease control, crop pollination and recreation. There is need
to prioritize the areas that require conservation.
Increased human population: The worlds population is increasing at a faster rate. This has
resulted in over consumption, leading to poverty and other environmental problems. All the
many environmental issues are caused by the large population that can not match the
available resources.
New technologies: Increased demand for food globally has forced scientists to manipulate
plant DNA to produce strong and drought and disease resistant crops. There is the general
fear that GMO products are harmful to human beings. When GMO food products are released
to the environment, they may not be recalled, making it a dangerous global experiment.
Habitat loss: Habitat loss and fragmentation due to deforestation and human development.
This is considered as the major cause of diminishing biodiversity globally. Many species are
faced with extinction.

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