Hospital waste discovery: Is Mactan Channel still safe for swimming?

By Morexette Marie B. Erram |January 11,2019 - 04:52 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines—Is taking a dip in the Mactan Channel safe?

 Officers from the Environmental Management Bureau in Central Visayas (EMB-7) wanted to be sure as they started getting water samples from the channel to determine if the area is still safe for swimming in light of recent discovery of hospital waste floating there.

More sacks and garbage bags containing hospital wastes are being collected from the city’s coastal villages by Lapu-Lapu City’s environmental officers since Saturday, January 5. 

A staff from EMB-7, who requested not to be identified due to lack of authority to speak on the matter, told Cebu Daily News Digital in a phone interview that they have deployed a team in Mactan Channel to take water samples today, Friday (January 11) to determine its fecal coliform and PH levels.  

“We’re still waiting for any feedback from our team assigned there to determine which actions we will take next,” the staff said.

In its status report, EMB-7 said it has traced the hospital waste that were collected in Barangay Ibo, Lapu-Lapu City last Saturday to a private hospital based in Mandaue City. 

The bureau recommended that Chong Hua Hospital, and the service provider it hired to dispose its wastes, Davao City Environmental Care Inc. (DCECI), to be fined P110,000 and P250,000 respectively, for violating provisions in the Revised Procedures and Standards for the Management of Hazardous Wastes.

Some photos and videos which showed hospital waste being washed on the shores of Barangay Ibo in Lapu-Lapu City went viral on Saturday. 

The waste included syringes, rubber gloves, specimen tubes among others. /rcg

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