THE Environmental Management Bureau in the Cordillera region warned owners of funeral parlors in the city and La Trinidad to appropriately dispose their hazardous health care waste to prevent serious threat to the health of individuals exposed to the contaminated wastes generated by their environmentally critical establishments.

In a letter to owners of funeral parlors, EMB-CAR OIC, Chief of Clearance and Permitting Division Engr. Nestor Donaal said appropriate notices of violation were issued by the agency against the management of several funeral parlors in Baguio and La Trinidad for their alleged gross violation of the guidelines for the proper waste disposal of their generated hazardous health care waste after uncovering that there are owners of funeral parlors that do not abide by the prescribed rules and regulations relative to the handling and disposal of the said type of waste.

Donaal informed funeral parlors they cannot dispose blood contaminated gloves and surgical blades alongside domestic waste even if they are reportedly disinfected because there is no guarantee those exposed to the said hazardous waste will not contract illnesses due to the exposure.

Under the pertinent provisions of DENR Administrative Order No. 2013-22 or the Revised Procedures and Standards for the Management of Hazardous Waste and Joint DENR-DOH Administrative Order No. 2005-02, health care waste generators such as mortuaries, hospitals, laboratories, among others, are required to avail of the services of DENR accredited transporters and treaters for the disposal of their hazardous waste.

The EMB-CAR official advised funeral parlor and other hazardous waste generators to be transparent on how they are treating cotton contaminated with blood prior to its disposal to prevent garbage collectors from being exposed to extreme health hazards when handling such waste.

Donaal’s letter was furnished to the local government of Baguio to help monitor the compliance of the hazardous waste generators to pertinent laws, rules and regulations relative to the proper disposal of their hazardous waste coming from their respective establishments as part of the combined efforts of both the national and local governments to protect the people from being exposed to hazardous waste.

He warned hazardous waste generators that once they are issued the appropriate notices of violation and the agency does not find merit to their explanations to the said notices, their personnel will be invited to a technical conference with the agency’s technical people for them to justify their actions.

Donaal explained once the agency personnel will not be satisfied with the justifications of the violations committed by the erring hazardous waste generators, the agency will impose the appropriate fines against the owners of the establishments with a stern warning that repeated violations relative to the disposal of their hazardous waste will be meted stiffer penalties. (Dexter See/PIO)