The haze from Indonesia forest fires has reached Davao region and Soccsksargen, according to the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the region.
The agency has confirmed that it has reached the southern Philippines and is affecting the entire region. Some GenSan residents have noticed this too.
“Nag-wonder nga kami kanina kasi parang ang dumi-dumi ng hangin, parang may usok kaya tinatakpan ko na lang ng T-shirt ang ilong ko kasi hindi pa ako nakabili ng face mask,” said Honey Pearl Jover.
(We wondered right away because it was like the air was dirty. It was like smoke, so I just covered my nose with a T-shirt because I had never bought a face mask.)
Some thought the fog was covering the GenSan skies. But according to EMB-Soccsksargen, these were unhealthy smog or haze or smoke from forest fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan in Indonesia.
The haze has also reached other parts of the country such as Bacolod, Iloilo, Dumaguete, Cebu, Zamboanga, Puerto Princesa, Tagum City and Koronadal City.
According to PAGASA, the monsoon winds carried the haze into the country.
“Kasi habagat naman tayo, ‘yung Indonesia nasa southern part, dinala ‘yan dito sa atin ng hanging habagat,” said Rodrigo Mamites, weather observer of PAGASA-GenSan.
(Because we experience monsoon winds, Indonesia was in the southern part, so the monsoon brought it here.)
DENR warns residents of Haze from Indonesia forest fires adverse effects
The General Santos City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office warns the haze may increase the risk of other respiratory illnesses.
“It might be better to stay indoors, and if ever you go out, you wear face masks,” said Dr. Bong Dacera, action officer of CDRRMO in GenSan.
“Iwasan ng mga bata na may hika at ng matatanda ang paglabas. As a precautionary, cautionary pwede gumamit ng mask para hindi directly makapasok sa respiratory system,” said Melvin Dapitanon, air quality in-charge of EMB-Davao.
(Children and elderly with asthma should avoid going outside. As a precautionary, cautionary they may use a mask so the haze would not enter the respiratory system directly.)