Show-cause order issued to junkman segregating hospital waste in Inayawan
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CCENRO) has issued a show-cause order to a junkman who uses a private property in Barangay Inayawan as his junkyard for hazardous waste such as recently used hospital items allegedly from Bohol.
Engr. Editha Peros, head of CCENRO, in an interview with CDN Digital on Monday, July 5, 2021, said that they are still looking for Ronald “Abay-Abay” Villaver, who allegedly used a private property situated at the White Road in the said barangay as his junkyard for waste materials that includes hospital waste.
“Sa pagkakaron, ang kadtong among show-cause order, wala pa na-recieve. Gipangita pa namo kay pag-Friday (July 2) giadto, wala man siya sa site, so gibalikan nato karon,” she said.
(As of now, our show-cause order hasn’t been received. We’re still looking for him because last Friday, we went there but he wasn’t at the sire so we went back today.)
The Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification and Enhancement (PROBE) team headed by Raquel Arce confirmed the presence of medical waste such as dextrose bags, specimen containers, and syringes in the said property upon their first inspection last June 26, five days after the office received a letter from the owner of the property.
The owner asked for the city’s immediate assistance, saying that the garbage being collected by Villaver are from Cebu City and that they had no idea whether or not he is the city’s garbage collector or sub-contractor.
The owner added that Villaver and his co-workers were segregating waste materials, including hospital waste, in the area without their consent, and that their existing fence was intentionally destroyed.
Allegedly, they reported the matter to the barangay officials, but no preventive or disciplinary action was done except the issuance of a Certificate to File Legal Action.
On June 30, Cebu City Councilor Donaldo Hontiveros, who served as the acting vice mayor that time, conducted a site inspection along with Peros, Arce, and CESET division head Grace Luardo.
Peros said they caught Villaver at the site on that day, which resulted to the issuance of three citations for the disposal of hazardous waste, mixing of source separated waste, and failure to clean surrounding areas five meters from unenclosed residences, vendor stalls, and commercial establishments.
She added that the junkman will be asked to fine P500 each for his three violations.
Should Villaver not comply with the show-cause order, Peros said they will prepare charges to be filed against him.
Peros said they have no idea as to where Villaver got the hazardous waste, stressing that the junkman only told them that it came from his old junk shop in Barangay Tisa.
“Ang iyang giingon nga kana daw nga hospital waste, dugay na daw na. Didto daw sa karaan niya nga junk shop. Pero nakit-an man gud namo nga naay June 21, 2021 nakasuwat, so bag-o pa,” she said, adding that the name of the hospital on the markings is based in Bohol.
(He said the hospital waste has been there for a long time now. It came from his old junk shop. But we saw that there were markings on the waste which read June 21, 2021, which means these are newly used items.)
Peros said they are coordinating with the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) on what to do with the said waste since they have the capability to handle infectious waste.
Inayawan Barangay Captain Kirk Bryan Repollo, for his part, said he only found out about the matter during the special session on June 30. The day after, he directed his barangay public safety chief officer to check the area.
“It was only during the special session that I knew of it. That is why I asked the council that, when in fact they inspected the area days before the special session and saw the situation, why did they not call the barangay? Why wait for the special session to take place? We could have already jointly [done something about] it,” said Repollo.
The village chief said that one of the representatives of the lot owners informed him earlier Monday morning, July 5, that they reported the operation of Villaver to CCENRO last year, and that the said office issued a cease and desist order after an inspection.
“However, the report of the inspection team and the cease and desist order did not mention of any hospital waste,” he said, adding that the representative of the owner reportedly made a follow up report last March that operations of the junkman still continued but there was no response from the CCENRO.
Peros said she only found out about the presence of the hospital waste when Arce told her about the matter.
Subscribe to our regional newsletter
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.