DAVAO CITY – The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has confirmed that the haze being seen over Davao comes from Indonesian forest fires.
In Philippine Information Agency dispatch, Ben Rosales, weather observer of PAGASA, said that the haze was brought by monsoon winds in Indonesia blowing northeast towards Philippines.
Haze has been observed in Davao City since October 17, while Cebu City has observed hazy skies since October 3.
The primary source of haze are forest fires created by farmers who practice slash-and-burn farming particularly the uncontrolled expansion of palm oil plantations and paper production.
The huge forestlands of Sumatra and Kalimantan in Indonesia are peatlands which is a type of soil made up of decayed plant matter, when drained and dried the peat can be highly combustible especially with the El Niño.
The haze has affected eight countries in Southeast Asia with Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore as most affected. On October 19, Singapore’s Pollutant Standard Index (PSI) read a record 471 or hazardous category, forcing the island nation to cancel classes and sporting events. (davaotoday.com)