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PIA Press Release
2010/09/16

September 16 is International Day for Preservation of Ozone Layer

Pagadian City (16 September) -- The alarming rate of ozone depletion has led developed and developing countries around the world to come up with an agreement known as the Montreal Protocol on Substances that depletes the ozone layer on September 16, 1987. As of March 2009, this agreement binds 194 member countries to take immediate steps to phaseout the ozone depletion substance (ODS).

Since then, the international communities had declared September 16 and every year thereafter as "International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer." With the slogan: Protect our Ozone Layer! Patronize ozone friendly products!

As member party, the Philippines signed the Montreal Protocol on September 14, 1988 and ratified it on March 21, 1991. The Philippine Ozone Desk (POD) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) ? Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) acts as the national coordinator of programs for the implementation of the Montreal Protocol also known as the country's National Ozone Unit (NOU).

The Philippines' commitment to the Montreal Protocol is to phase out its consumption of all ozone depleting substance (ODS). The protocol defines consumption as production plus import minus export. Since the Philippines is neither a producer nor an exporter of ODS, its consumption is equal to its importation.

The ozone layer is a thin, fragile shield that envelops the earth and filters about 90% of the sun's harmful ultraviolet-B radiation (UV-B) and completely screens out lethal ultraviolet-C radiation (UV-C). It is located 20 to 40 kilometers above the earth's surface.

Damage to ozone layer will naturally mean the entry of harmful rays into the earth's atmosphere. Without the ozone layer, there will be no life on earth.

According to research, as of September 2009, the size of the ozone hole is about 27 million square kilometers which is almost as big as North America.

Ordinary citizens can help save the ozone layer by patronizing products and services that do not use ODS. Here are some tips on how individuals can be ozone-friendly: a) stop using ODS! Patronize ODS alternatives or substitutes, b) check the labels of consumer goods, and make sure that you buy products that are CFC-free or ozone-friendly, c) for those with asthma, choose CFC-free metered-dose inhalers (MDI), d) have your home and car air-conditioner and refrigerators services at shops accredited by DTI. This will ensure that they have the tools, equipment and certified technician for environment-friendly servicing, and e) if your air-conditioner or refrigerator still runs on CFC-12 as a refrigerant, have it retrofitted or converted to an ODS-free system in a DTI-accredited shop. (denr-emb9/pia9/zds/cal) [top]

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