Medical wastes Mayor Radaza tells 2 hospitals to explain
CEBU, Philippines — Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza wants the two hospitals to explain how and why the medical wastes reached the waters off the Mactan Channel and ended up in the coastlines of the city.
Her statement came after a netizen captured a video and some photos of several pieces of syringes and some small vials floating along Barangay Ibo last Saturday, January 5.
The vials and some medical wastes have labels bearing well-known hospitals. The FREEMAN is withholding the names of the hospitals pending their comments on the matter.
City Legal Officer Ethelbert Ouano said they have sent a notice to explain to the involved hospitals on why they did not handle their wastes properly.
After a Facebook post, Ouano said they have sent sanitary inspectors to conduct inventory about the matter.
“It was confirmed that it could be categorized as an infectious waste, (a) medical waste. These are hazardous and toxic as well,” he said.
Aside from vials, there were also yellow plastic bags that contained human fingers, some used adult diapers and blood-stained intravenous tubes used to connect dextrose bags.
If they are not satisfied with their explanation, the city government will issue citation tickets to these hospitals.
“We will issue citation tickets because indeed it is a very clear violation as they have contaminated the sea and most of all, it was not the proper way to dispose of infectious medical wastes,” Ouano explained.
He added that the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) – 7 will investigate the matter together with the hospitals.
The city government last year has been active in clearing off the city’s coastlines wherein they coordinated with various stakeholders.
In June last year, the city government, through Executive Order 2018-18 created a Shoreline Inter-Department Task Force responsible in the strict implementation of environmental laws and ordinances of the city.
The group is chaired by Radaza and City Administrator Florito Pozon. Members are the city planning officer, city engineer, tourism officer, city environmental officer, city health officer, city attorney, and city urban poor affairs officer, among others.
The EO said the task force will be the one “to ensure compliance for an ecologically sustainable city.”
The establishment of the task force came after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) inspects the coastal areas of Bohol and Cebu to prevent similar environmental emergency as that in Boracay. — MBG (FREEMAN)