Volvo PH believes you, too, can help curb air pollution. Here’s how

June 6, 2020

50 kilometers across Manila Bay, the Memorial Cross on Mount Samat National Shrine can be seen from as far as Quezon City. The Sierra Madre mountain range is now more visible from afar because of the reduction of haze and smog.

These are just some examples of how the air quality in Metro Manila and neighboring areas has seemingly improved after the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) has been imposed.

Cleaner and clearer skies and bodies of water have been observed in different parts of the country. Amidst the doom and gloom brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, there seems to be a silver lining when it comes to its effects on the environment.

With unprecedented swiftness, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 has impacted lives all over the world. Currently, the World Health Organization (WHO) has registered over 2.9 million cases with 202,733 deaths (as of 28 April 2020). It affects 213 areas, countries, or territories with no prejudice as to race, gender, religion, or economic classes.

In the Philippines, there are 7,958 total confirmed cases based on the Department of Health’s (DOH) case tracker as of 28 April 2020. To help contain the spread of the virus, the government has resorted to a community-wide quarantine. Business and leisure establishments temporarily closed doors, travel restrictions have been put in place, strict rules and regulations have been enforced and personal mobility is closely monitored.

The response enacted by governments around the world against COVID-19 has led to noticeable results in the environment. For one, the air quality has improved. According to data shared by and the Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology (IESM) of the University of the Philippines Diliman the concentration of particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5) in the northern part of Metro Manila drastically dropped.

From 20 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3), the same region displayed PM2.5 concentrations of 7.1 μg/m3. Similar results have also been observed around the world. According to the World Economic Forum, lockdowns have resulted in radical drops in pollution. Using satellite observations from NASA’s Global Modeling and Data Assimilation, levels of pollutant concentration in major cities such as Hubei Province in China, South Korea, and Italy recorded a huge reduction compared to previous weeks’ averages.

A report released by IQAir, a Swiss-based air quality technology company, shared comparative information on how the coronavirus pandemic significantly reduced particle pollution in 10 major global cities. They found that 9 out of 10 cities recorded a reduction in PM2.5 vis-à-vis data recorded from the same period in 2019. For example, considerable drops were detected in Delhi (-60%), Seoul (-54%), and Wuhan (-44%).

Air pollution kills about 7 million people every year. 4.2 of these recorded deaths are a result of exposure to ambient air pollution that comes from both human activities or natural sources. Dust storms and forest fires are examples of natural sources of outdoor air pollution.

With these figures in mind, it is crucial that air pollution must be mitigated. Economic movements, personal mobility, and other lockdown measures that have contributed to the significant drops in pollution rates must be carefully analyzed to come up with long-term solutions that can help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Everyone’s efforts, including yours, are important to make this possible. Here are a few tips on how to help curb air pollution.


Along with choosing a Volvo, you can also help cut down air pollution by ensuring that your car is properly maintained. Do not neglect the recommended vehicle maintenance checks by the manufacturer. It will also help if you use the right kind of motor oil or fuel rating, for instance.

Make sure that you also bring your vehicle to the authorized service center for check-ups. You should also opt to use only genuine parts to ensure the safety and reliability of your vehicle. You should also observe proper driving habits. Go easy on the pedal and follow traffic rules and road safety regulations. These practices will help you save on fuel costs or other unnecessary repairs.

In addition, planning your route will also help reduce the time you are on the road thus cutting down on fuel consumption and emissions.

AVOID IDLING (too long or too much)

Unnecessary or prolonged idling can add to air pollution, contributes to engine wear, and wastes fuel. Modern Volvo cars have a Start/Stop function that helps you reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. With this feature, your car’s engine temporarily shuts off to eliminate idling and instantly restarts when you resume driving.


One of the best ways to reduce air pollution is to drive an environment-friendly vehicle. According to a Northwestern University study published in April 2019, battery-powered electric vehicles can help improve air quality and carbon emissions.

In the Philippines, there are now Volvo Plug-in Hybrids that can ferry you in style and safety while being conscious of your carbon footprint. These plug-in hybrids such as the Volvo XC60 SUV, the stately S90 sedan, or the muscular XC90 SUV, all carry Volvo’s badge of commitment to sustainability.

The potent mix of electric power and advanced petrol technology allows you to experience zero tailpipe emission commuting when using Pure mode. You can also enjoy fuel-efficient long-distance driving in Hybrid mode.

Powered by a responsive T8 Twin Engine, these range of Volvo plug-in hybrids offer an optimized driving experience. The large battery gives an electric-only range of around up to 45–59 km (depending on the model) and can easily be charged at home or at a charging station. It’s also charged during driving every time you brake or slow down.

About the Author

Randolph de Leon
Randy is a person with disability (PWD), a partially-blinded person with only his left eye functioning. Since childhood, the automobile has always been his passion, and is able to express it through photography and most recently, through writing as well. Outside the motoring beat, Randy spends time manning the media aspect of his business which he co-founded with his sister/college classmate. It's called Dragonlight Wellness and Solutions, a multi-business venture centering on improving peoples' lives through earning.