THE Environmental Management Bureau-Cordillera Administrative Region (EMB-CAR) will hold a technical conference on August 1 on the alleged illegal dumping of hospital waste in a portion of the Marcos Highway Watershed Forest Reserve.
EMB-CAR regional director Reynaldo Digamo summoned the management of Baguio Medical Center and contractor Onofre Calam-ang to shed light on the issue.
The conference will tackle the simplification of the issues, stipulation of facts, execution of commitment and implementation of remedial measures.
A notice was served to the medical center for violating the conditions of its Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) released on July 27 following the investigation report by EMB-CAR technical personnel regarding the illegal dumping of earth materials containing hospital waste in Sitio Bayacsan, Taloy Sur in Tuba, Benguet.
Aside from the violation of ECC, both the BMC and the contractor will face charges for violation of Republic Act (RA) 6969 or the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990 and the RA 9275, or the Clean Water Act of 2004.
Digamo also ordered the respondents on July 20 to immediately cease and desist all activities related to illegal dumping and deposit of excavated materials mixed with hospital waste and conduct clean-up and retrieval operations.
In an interview with SunStar Baguio, Elvie Dimas, tasked by the contractor to conduct cleaning operations in the area, stated that since July 13, at least 100 sacks of hospital waste have been collected.
Hospital waste include dextrose and syringes.
Protected Area Management and Biodiversity Conservation Section chief Glea Lagon of Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro)-Baguio urged concerned individuals to report environmentally degrading activities to proper authorities.
Barangay Taloy Sur is considered part of the Marcos Highway Watershed Forest Reserve (MHFWR) within the jurisdiction of CENRO-Baguio.
The agency added the forest rangers are now strictly monitoring illegal activities within the reserve.
A lecture on environment-related laws was conducted on Thursday, July 26.
On July 31, a clean-up drive will be participated by DPWH-Cordillera, DENR-CAR, EMB-CAR,MGB-CAR, Barangay Taloy Sur Officials and residents, local government unit of Tuba. After the clean-up drive, a memorandum of understanding will also be singed on the protection and preservation of MHWFR.
Aside from the administrative case filed by EMB-Cordillera, Tuba Municipal Police Office have filed three cases on July 19against the medical center and contractor for violation of RA 9003 known as the Solid Waste Management Act, RA 6969 or the Toxic and Hazardous Waste Act and RA 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.