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The first batch of the DENR-NCR employees undergone rapid testing for COVID-19 on 24 July 2020, while the second batch of employees was tested on 27 July 2020.

Almost 400 employees of the DENR National Capital Region took the COVID-19 IgG and IgM Rapid Antibody Test at the National Ecology Center in Quezon City. Blood samples were taken from each employee to be used in the auxiliary diagnosis of COVID-19 infection.

As we face this pandemic and strive to leverage the power of testing for COVID-19, this is one way we can identify persons to undergo quarantine and isolate themselves to slow down the transmission of the virus. Testing for COVID-19 is our window to mitigate the spread of the virus, without testing there will be no data to identify who is infected by the virus.

DENR-EMB National Capital Region and the City Government of Manila unveiled on Thursday, 16 July 2020, the Teledyne T640 PM Analyzer at the Mehan Garden in Manila.

The Teledyne T640 PM Analyzer, the first of its kind in the Philippines according to EMB-NCR Regional Director, Atty. Domingo M. Clemente, Jr., is an onsite Air Quality Monitoring Station (AQMS) that measures ambient particulate matter (PM) in real-time, providing concerned government agencies with much-needed data for planning and monitoring air pollution in the city.

Air pollution, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is one of the leading health hazards in many countries today, killing an estimated 7 million people every year (https://www.who.int/airpollution/news-and-events/how-air-pollution-is-destroying-our-health). Improving air quality is important and should be among the top priorities of local governments.

Before the unveiling, Manila City Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso and Director Clemente signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on the AQMS. In his speech, Mayor Isko revealed that he specifically requested DENR to install the AQMS in Manila, “para naman masukat natin ang effort ng city in making more open green spaces and cleaner air”. He also expressed the firm commitment of the City Government to expand and enhance ‘green spaces’ in Manila.

Atty. Alvin Joseph G. Constantino, Licenses, Patents and Deeds Division (LPDD) Chief and concurrent Chief Environmental Officer of the West Field Office (WFO) of DENR National Capital Region, represented Regional Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan in the ceremony.

DENR-NCR Regional Executive Director Jacqueline Caancan sent her congratulations to Director Clemente and Mayor Isko. She said that the AQMS will help fill data gaps on air quality monitoring, allowing policymakers to prepare more responsive plans on air pollution interventions. “The AQMS not only measures ambient air pollution; it also helps determine possible sources of air pollution, providing environment officials science-based insight on the issue”, Director Caancan explained.