Eleven cities in the Philippines made it to the top 15 cleanest in Southeast Asia, according to the 2018 World Air Quality Report released by IQAir AirVisual.
Seven of these 11 cities comprise part of the National Capital Region - Valenzuela (2nd), Parañaque (5th), Makati (7th), Manila (8th), Mandaluyong (9th), Quezon City (13th), and Las Piñas (15th).
The other Philippine cities that made it to the list were Calamba (1st), Carmona (3rd), Davao (6th), and Balanga (12th).
The report cites the source of pollution in Southeast Asia as open burning and vehicular emissions.
IQAir AirVisual aggregates and validates real-time data from government and monitors operated by individuals and organizations across the world. It measures cleanliness by PM2.5, or atmospheric particulate matter, which is composed of solid particles and liquid droplets in the air – a combination of smoke, dust, fumes, ash, pollen, and aerosols. Particles considered as fine are 2.5 microns in diameter or smaller, thus PM2.5.
Air pollution contributes to around seven million premature deaths every year and burdens the world economy with an estimated yearly cost of about USD 225 billion, the report said.
On a global scale, the Philippines ranks 48th (out of 73) in the most polluted countries in the world, with a 14.6 level, which is considered moderate.