By Minerva BC Newman
CEBU CITY – The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) issued violation notices to two firms in Mandaue City for allegedly dumping medical wastes that were found floating in the Mactan Channel last Jan. 5.
EMB said the Lapu-Lapu City Health Office presented the collected healthcare wastes recovered from the channel near Sitio Sta. Maria, Barangay Ibo.
The board said healthcare bottle wastes bore the name of Chong Hua Hospital Mandaue and Cancer Center (CHHMCC). The source of the other wastes still has to be determined.
EMB also found that the Davao City Environmental Care, Inc., (DCECI), a Treatment Storage and Disposal (TSD) facility, is the third-party Health Care Waste Service Provider contracted by Chong Hua hospital.
DCECI uses the autoclave and charring method to treat medical waste from its clients that included the University of Cebu Medical Center (UC Med), St. Vincent Hospital, and CHHMCC.
After checking on CHHMCC and DCECI, an EMB team determined the two firms to be the sources of the dumped waste.
Based on EMB investigation, CHHMCC and DCECI were also found to have committed another violation that carries a P50,000 fine.
EMB said DCECI presented forms and a certification that it could treat waste from CHHMCC only until last September. Yet the facility continuously collected and treated the hospital’s healthcare waste up until Jan. 2, EMB said.
It was also found out that DCECI has exceeded the allowable 8 metric tons (MT) annual treatment capacity, a violation of the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) issued to the facility on April 16, 2013.
The violation could lead to the cancellation or suspension of the EEC and a fine of P50,000.
CHHMCC also cannot present any manifest form for the previous and current collections of its healthcare waste by DCECI. Instead, it presented signed waste pull-out forms from DCECI which is also a violation of Section 7 of DENR Administrative Order (DAO) 2013-22, EMB said.
Further investigation showed that the data CHHMCC declared in its Self-Monitoring Report (SMR) for the third quarter of 2018 did not match the data in its waste pull-out forms.
EMB has called DCECI and CHHMCC to a conference Wednesday to apprise them of their violations.
Meanwhile, another Facebook post showing photos of medical waste in Sitio Apro in Barangay Ibo, Lapu-Lapu, went viral last week.
A team sent by EMB Regional Director William Cuñado to Sitio Apro found that some of the waste carried the name of UC Medical Center.