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Firm, hospital face fines for medical waste at sea

CEBU CITY—A private hospital in Mandaue City and the service provider it hired to dispose of its medical waste had been ordered to pay fines for violating laws governing the handling of hazardous hospital waste.

The regional office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), recommended a P250,000 fine for Davao City Environmental Care Inc. (DCECI) and P110,000 for Chong Hua Hospital for medical waste found floating in the seas of Mandaue.

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The wastes were traced to Chong Hua.

More wastes

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But as the EMB wrapped up its investigation, more hospital waste placed in yellow trash bags were found on Thursday in three more areas in Lapu-Lapu City along the Mactan Channel.

Residents in these areas reported to seeing hospital waste floating near the coastlines.

Several plastic yellow trash bags were found in two areas in the village of Pusok while hospital waste inside more yellow trash bags were found in the village of Poblacion on Thursday.

The City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) of Lapu-Lapu City said it immediately contacted a representative from Chong Hua Hospital about the new bags of hospital waste that had been collected.

Boy Padilla, Lapu-Lapu Cenro officer, said the newly found hospital waste weighed close to 50 kilograms.

Health risks

He said the trash bags contained plastic tubes from dextrose, syringes, dialysis sets, bloodstained plasters, cottons and others.

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DCECI, according to the EMB report, “exceeded its allowable annual treatment capacity of eight metric tons.”

The facility, said the report, “shall not exceed the capacity indicated in its environmental compliance certificate.”

“As such, the subject waste shall be treated within six months,” it added.

The company, according to the EMB, also did not have the prescribed documents or manifest forms that allowed them to collect and dispose of waste from hospitals.

Chong Hua Hospital in Mandaue City, on the other hand, faces a fine of P110,000 as penalty for not having the prescribed manifest forms for waste disposal and conflicting data pertaining to the volume of trash that the hospital produced and transported.

Both DCECI and Chong Hua Hospital had been given 15 days to submit their replies to the EMB.

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