Lapu-Lapu Cenro retrieves sacks of floating hospital wastes from Mactan Channel

By Morexette Marie B. Erram |January 11,2019 - 04:35 PM

Hospital wastes  seen floating on the seas around Barangay Ibo, Lapu-Lapu City on Jan. 11, 2019. / Photo courtesy of Cessna Zosa-Sarmiento

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Environment officers from the city government of Lapu-Lapu have hauled sacks of hazardous hospital wastes floating in the water off Mactan Island in just a few hours  after they began patrolling the seas surrounding the island and along the  Mactan Channel on Friday, January 11.

Just this morning,  personnel from  the Lapu-Lapu City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) hauled a new batch of hospital wastes they saw floating on the coastal areas of Barangays Ibo and Poblacion.

Christian Casio, Lapu-Lapu’s Cenro Officer, said they collected at least four sacks of medical wastes in the coastal waters off Barangays Poblacion and Ibo alone.

However,  Casio refused to divulge the name of the hospital from which the wastes came from, as their inventory documents were still being finalized and not yet approved for release.

Casio also said most of these sacks contained used plastic syringes, tubes used to attach to oxygen tanks, and used cotton swabs.

“Some of them also contain solutions like sodium chloride,” he added.

Casio also said that this morning, their office, together with Lapu-Lapu City’s Disaster and Rescue Team and the Philippine Navy, patrolled Mactan Channel to inspect and collect hospital wastes floating in the seas.

“It will be a continuous retrieval (of medical wastes) starting today,” said Casio.

An earlier batch of  hospital wastes found along the coastal area of Barangay Ibo were found to be those of the Chong Hua Hospital in Mandaue City.

The hospital management said the disposal of all its biohazars wastes have been contracted to Davao Davao City Environmental Care Inc., (DVECI) which is accredited  by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR.

As a result of the earlier findings, the DENR, on January 10, has recommended that  DVECI be meted a fine of P250,000 and another  P110,000 for Chong Hua Hospital for failing to dispose of the wastes properly.

The hospital and  DVECI were also given 15 days to answer in writing why these hospital wastes were not disposed of in accordance set standards./elb

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