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Problems with air pollution in Manila

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environmental Studies
Wordcount: 2859 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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In Manila there are a lot of problems with air pollution, hygiene practices and the lack of good sanitation. These are the most important hygiene and health related risks in the Philippines.

One-sixth of all deaths in the Philippines and approximately 6,000 premature deaths a year are because of hygiene, water-borne diseases and poor sanitation conditions. Diarrhea is the most common water-borne disease, then intestinal worms, typhoid, and cholera. These diseases are very common because more than 25 million Filipinos do not have a basic access to sanitation and more than 13 million do not have proper water resources. Thanks to the water pollution the costs increases, which led to more than 6.7 billion in 2006.

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Air pollution makes this even worse, and therefore it is another big issue. The most common diseases are chronic bronchitis, pneumonia and cardiovascular diseases. And this is not going away soon, the city has a lot of factors which increases this. Like the smoke the vehicles leave behind, but also something small like tobacco smoke. The people who clean the city, which are more than 18 million people, are the biggest victims of this air pollution

All the costs of treatment and lost income, due to air pollution, is more than 7.6 billion per year. Although there have been some improvements in alleviating diseases from the lack of hygiene and air pollution, which is thanks the government's more pro-active attempt for the environmental role in health, it is still a major problem.

There should be more easy-to-access information on different methods and also more improvements in health infrastructure, such as good sanitation facilities and a healthy water resource to prevent health risks from water pollution.

The government is now busy with discouraging people to use vehicles with high smoke emissions. Which is a big factor in air pollutions

Quick Facts


Population growth (annual %)


Population, total (millions)


Life expectancy at birth, total (years)


Mortality rate, infant (per 1,000 live births)


GNI (current US$) (millions)


GNI per capita, Atlas method (current US$)


Prevalence of HIV, total (% of population ages 15-49)


These are the Ten Leading Causes of Illness in the Philippines

1. Acute Lower RTI and Pneumonia

2. Bronchitis/ Bronchiolitis

3. Acute Watery Diarrhea. Influenza

5. Hypertension

6. TB Respiratory

7. Pneumonia

8. Diseases of the Heart

9. Malaria

10.Dengue Fever

The most common diseases:

degree of risk: high

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, and Japanese encephalitis

water contact disease: leptospirosis

Of these diseases almost all of them are caused by the hygiene.


A lot of conflicts are also because of their habitat, and what they are seen like. Because people cannot get easy higher up.

The biggest one and the most known one is the Payatas

The poorest families live on the Filipinos and collect trash of the dump. One of the dump places is Payatas, on the edge of Manilla. Where 4500 ton waste is dumped every day. More than 30.000 people, also children, live on this dump. Through day and night trucks are coming in and out with lots of garbage. This garbage consists of (operation) waste, from hospitals. It is not difficult to conclude that a lot of people get sick because of all the bacteria and germs that are produced by the garbage. Because of all the garbage that is dumped, the hill keeps getting bigger and bigger. This happens through the chemical processes who are caused by the scalding and joining together of substances. Around the dump there is a big haze which you can see on a very large distance. For most of the inhabitants of the Payates there is no other option than to work on the dump. More than 400 families collect garbage to support their family. Children from already a young age help with collection plastic, empty cans and other stuff which helps to produce some money.

In short Payatas means a big hill with stinking garbage and a source for the incomes of hundreds of families


More than 2.6 billion people in the world have one thing in common, which is; they do not have good access to basic sanitation.

Worldwide, there are about 1.7 million deaths a year, with 90% of them being children, who died mainly through infectious diarrhea. Which was caused by unsafe water, poor sanitation and hygiene. 1.5 million children a year could be saved by access to sanitation, good hygiene and a safe water supply

A good sanitation will reduce children illnesses and so increase primary school enrolment, because children will not miss as much as used to be. Also it will increase the productivity among adults, it will provide more safety for women and also reduce the pollution of water resources.

Fortunately it is increasing, in only 14 years more than 1 billion people have received access to sanitation. Sanitation and wastewater commitments have effectively tripled since 1990 and after that nearly doubled since 2002.

Less than half of the Latin American countries are on track to double the rate of sanitation provision.

Poor sanitation is responsible for at least 9 billion in losses per year in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam combined.

Sanitation is a neglected aspect of development in countries, the money going to this is minor. If you look to the economic impacts of poor sanitation, and the potential gains from improved sanitation, than the investments in sanitation should be very helpful for everyone

The most disastrous impact of poor sanitation is an increased risk of infectious diseases and premature death, declaring for more than 4.8 billion annually.

Poor sanitation also contributes enormously to water pollution, adding to the costs of safe freshwater for homes, and increasing the production of fish in lakes and rivers.

Garbage and streets

Garbage is a big problem for the communities in Manila. In the past years, "Smokey Mountain," once a smoking mountain of garbage, which was Manila's monument to one of the city's most continuously problems; trash. But through years of effort, Smokey Mountain has been increased to a big hill.

Still the problem goes on: What to do with the amount of garbage produced by more than 10 million residents of Manila every.

In Dagat-Dagatan, Navotas, a group of women has taken the matter, of the community's garbage, into their own hands through the Metropolitan Environmental Improvement Program (MEIP). The MEIP is a regional program for Asia with the costs provided by the United Nations Development Program and the World Bank as collaboration partner.

Through the funding received by the local Dagat-Dagatan Polymedic Medical Foundation, the women of the Dagat-Dagatan community established a community centre; the Zero Kalat sa Kaunlaran (Zero Waste for Progress), which is turning the garbage of their neighbourhoods into cash and opportunity.

To eliminate the extausion of diseases, the foundation launched a program within the community to spread ecological waste management, set up a recycling system and a redemption centre, and continue with the maintenance of sanitation and hygiene in every household.

The women, who are called volunteers but are actually members of a co-op. They first collect all the garbage, then sort it out at the community centre, and recycle almost all of it. Their recycling efforts take many forms. Some of the refuse is used in woven baskets and handbags, which the women sell for profit. But also some is sold to scrap metal dealers and to companies that recycle plastics and corrugated cardboard.

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The effort is actually more than a business for these women. They come together in the morning and exercise before starting the work of that day. They chat as they wash the water bottles and chat when they are on their way to the recycler. They have planted flowers and grass around the community and next year they will begin composting the scraps and clippings they collect to produce another marketable product. A women had admitted that this centre has changed her life.

"I was fascinated to see how the women managed to make money out of what people throw away," said Mats Karlsson, World Bank vice president for External Affairs and UN Affairs, who was visiting the women at the redemption centre.

Karlsson, who was in the Philippines for the current Manila Social Forum, took some time visiting nearby projects. "I was especially impressed by their motto: 'Kung hindi tayo, sino?' which means in english, 'If not us, then who?'"

Drinking water

Bottled water has established a major foothold in the Philippines. In some places, there are no piped-water systems; in others, people are not sure about biological contaminants, taste, odor, and the disinfection by-products from the chlorination process.

Even in the Manila, only about 75% of the population receives piped water from the municipal authority. Outside Manila even fewer people have access to healthy water distribution. In both locations, these people must find alternative water sources if they want to avoid cholera epidemics and other health problems caused by the only water that is available in their neighborhoods.

There is already a solution appearing, and now happening in thousands of water refilling.

The shops began as private community sources, where consumers went with their containers to fill them up for a per-gallon fee, which was a small part of 'commercially' bottled water costs. Most stores deliver home for regular customers nowadays.

Most of those shops produce between 3,000 and 12,000 liters of water per day. Everything of the supply comes from the pipes of municipal concessionaires. The executives invests in treatment equipment and further purify their product before they sale it. Other shops are likely supplied by unauthorized or illegal diggings. A production of these private sources could have damaging effects on the groundwater reserves and will lead to contamination.

The government has accepted private water shops, because of the increasing of waterborne diseases, but they do monitor their quality control practices and final product as much as they can. However, it is difficult to continuously keep an eye on the entire industry, given the large number of shops.

Although many people in the Philippines benefit from the availability of water shops, the system does not really account the long-term water delivery and sanitation infrastructure improvements, which are necessary to provide reliable water to everyone.

A lot of people do not live near a source of water. Distribution systems take the water from a source and deliver it to people who use it. They use different distribution systems which are depending on the needs of the people and the amount of infrastructure available. All of these systems have a risk of contaminating water when it is not handled properly. Every system has a cost involved to bring safe and reliable water to people.


In the larger cities of the world, it is standard that there is water pumped from a natural source, which is treated in a water treatment plant, stored for use in water storage tanks and then piped directly into every household.

The cost of household service, which is the delivery, treatment for this water, but also the upkeep of this system is usually paid by its consumers.

If the infrastructure is not maintained good, household service can become unreliable and result as possibly unsafe.

WaterjSupply by Vehicle

In a lot of areas, the plumbing in households is unreliable or non-existent. In these areas other distribution systems are developing. For instance in the Mexico City are, more than 2 million people live to far from piped distribution systems. For these people, water trucks transport water from the piped distribution systems directly to their home. Those water trucks can also be used to combat when there is natural disaster or a temporary water crises caused by war.

BottledlWater and Water Refilling Stations

Bottled water or water refilling stations are used in many areas where people have no access to clean water. In the Philippines, clean water is sold at water refilling stations throughout the whole country. At these stations, consumers may bring their own containers with them, to carry the water back home. The poor are the ones that are the most depending on vehicle delivery, bottled water, and water refilling stations. Unfortunately, the poor also need to pay the highest price for the water that is being delivered by such methods.

CentrallCommunity Source

In the rural areas almost no household infrastructure exists, so the communities dig wells and bore holes, and then they can pump groundwater to a central location in the community.

From these central community sources, consumers collect water themselves and bring it back home for treatment and then use. In rural Niger, solar pumps and hand pumps were installed by the international aid organizations at central locations within villages. These pumps provide easier access to clean water without having to dig up water from traditional wells. These water stations are used by the community and also, in most cases, maintained and controlled by the community.

Individual WaterlTransport

Most people, especially in the rural areas of developing countries, have to walk to a lake, river, or other water sources and put the water in containers. This water is brought back home and, but needs treatment before use. In comparison to other methods, this distribution system is the simplest solution . But it does involves costs. Water gatherers, women and children are spending hours each day being busy with this basic chore. This responsibility leaves them to little time for good schooling, earning any income, crowing food, or any other things that will help them live without poverty. It does not matter on which location the distribution systems are they need to have some form of infrastructure that must be maintained to keep the water safe and healthy.

And while all distribution systems involve costs, somelcosts can be more expensive than others.


What is a STI?

STI is the abbreviation of sexually transmitted infection. STI's are contagious, and it is possible an infected person has not noticed yet before passing the infection on to its sexual partner without noticing. Luckily, serious consequences can be prevented when the victim is treated in time. Some examples of STI's are HIV (the virus that can cause AIDS), chlamydia, genital warts, genital herpes, gonorrhoea, hepatitis B, and syphilis.

STI's can be transmitted through infected sperm and vaginal fluid. Second, people can also get an STI through infected blood, for example due to unhygienic tattooing and piercing, unhygienic needles etc. with using drugs, and babies can be infected during the pregnancy or birth. Third, STI's can be transmitted due to the contact between mucous membranes (in the rectum, penis, vagina, and mouth). And last, and probably best known, unprotected sex is dangerous because of an easy transmission of STI's.

There are some myths about the transmission of STI's. So let's get rid of them forever. STI's cannot be transmitted through drinking out of another person's cup, someone's cough, insect bites, a dirty toilet seat, and in a swimming pool.


Since the start of 2009 every month approximately 60 Filipinos are diagnosed as an HIV - positive. But this rose sharply to 126 cases in December. If this will not stop, the number will increase rapidly. And in three years the number of people in the Philippines with HIV/AIDS will be 30,000.

In January 2010 143 people were diagnosed with HIV in the Philippines. This was the highest number reported since the disease first appeared in the country, in 1984. Most of the cases in January were males, who were infected by sexual contact with men. Since 1984 the Philippines has had 4,424 cases of HIV reported, of these cases 832 have been developed into full-blown AIDS and 314 deaths had been reported.

Also among children the HIV infection is increasing as never before. The infection among 15-24 year old Filipinos has increased with five times, from 41 in 2007 to 218.


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