EMB-7 wants help desk for hazardous wastes monitoring
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Environment Management Bureau in Central Visayas (EMB-7) plans to set up a help desk that will cater to all concerns related to healthcare wastes and facilitate the immediate processing of permits to prevent any delays in the disposal of these hazardous wastes.
The agency was also planning to come up with a hazardous waste manifest tracking system to provide a real-time updates on the conduct of hazardous waste processes and collect real-time data of wastes generated from medical facilities and the volume of wastes that underwent treatment for documentation purposes.
These were among the plans raised during a stakeholders meeting called by Central Visayas office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-7) “to finally address various concerns on the handling and disposal of medical wastes in Cebu,” said a Facebook post by DENR-7 on Saturday morning.
Among those present during the meeting were representatives from the Department of Health Central Visayas office (DOH-7); the cities of Cebu, Lapulapu and Mandaue; healthcare providers; and Treatment, Storage and Disposal (TSD) facilities in Metro Cebu.
“The forum was (organized) to provide a venue for all the concerned stakeholders to meet, converse and develop a functional, safe and secure management system on the handling and disposal of hazardous and infectious wastes generated in hospitals and other healthcare facilities in Metro Cebu,” said EMB-7 Director William P Cuñado.
During the meeting, DENR-7 Regional Executive Director Gilbert Gonzales asked stakeholders to harmonize their efforts and work together to ensure the proper management of healthcare wastes while he emphasized on the huge responsibility of waste generators, in this case the hospitals and healthcare facilities, on the responsible handling of their wastes from generation to disposal.
“What waste generators must understand is that (the) generator’s responsibility goes further than contracting a TSD facility to transport, treat, store and dispose their garbage on their behalf. As a generator, the responsibility for your waste is from cradle to grave,” Gonzales told participants of the stakeholders meeting.
He also warned TSD operators to strictly comply with all environmental regulations or face appropriate consequences or penalties.
Before the meeting ended, DENR-7, DOH-7 and LGUs representatives agreed to strengthen their monitoring and evaluation processes to ensure strict compliance among waste generators and TSD facilities.
“Rest assured that DENR’s EMB-7 will strictly implement (regulation policies) according to the law. Generators, transporters, TSD facility operators who are not compliant with the standards will not be granted a permit,” said Cuñado. /dcb
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