THE Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) 7 on Thursday, Jan. 17, said the Davao City Environmental Care Inc. (DCECI) would be subject to another penalty if scavengers were given access to medical wastes it was supposed to treat and dispose of.
EMB 7 Director William Cuñado said the company should have secured the medical wastes when it transported these from the hospitals to its plant in Barangay Umapad in Mandaue City.
Cuñado said the plant should be out of reach from non-DCECI personnel.
On the other hand, the hospitals, as waste generators, were obligated to see to it that their wastes, which were considered “infectious and hazardous,” were properly treated by DCECI.
Cuñado said the company uses pyrolysis to treat the medical wastes. What it does is place the wastes inside a heated chamber without air. After this process, it buries the waste residue six feet below the ground in front of hospital representatives.
Under the law, DCECI is obligated to issue a certificate of treatment (COT) to the client hospital.
Cuñado said if DCECI officials and their lawyers are blaming scavengers for the wastes that were found scattered along the shores of the cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu and along the banks of the Butuanon River in Mandaue, then the company should be penalized for providing access to the untreated wastes.
“They should have presented police blotters as proof that the scavengers stole the medical wastes from them,” Cuñado said.
He said the company did not issue a COT to the Chong Hua Hospital Mandaue Cancer Center in Mandaue City after hauling the hospital’s wastes probably because it never treated the wastes to avoid expenses.
Meanwhile, Department of Tourism 7 Director Shahlimar Tamano said tourism in Cebu, particularly in Lapu-Lapu City, had not been affected by the discovery of medical wastes in the Mactan Channel and the shores of four city barangays last week.
This, after a resort in Barangay Maribago told Superbalita Cebu that several guests had canceled their reservations after the news broke out. (EOB, GCM of SuperBalita Cebu, PJB)