A medical laboratory in Quiapo, Manila was issued a show cause order by the Manila City government Wednesday after it was found to be the source of the discarded used rapid test kits along M. Dela Fuente Street in Sampaloc, Manila.
Manila Bureau of Permits Director Levi Facundo led the serving of the show cause order against CP Diagnostic Center at around 6 p.m. to allow their officials to explain why charges should not be filed against them.
Officials of the said laboratory, who admitted that the hazardous waste came from their establishment, said they will comply with the show cause order and exert efforts to correct their mistakes.
Additionally, the city government officials found that the laboratory does not have a sanitary permit. Their contract with workers designated to properly collect their medical waste has also reportedly expired, the Bureau of Permits and Licenses Office (BPLO) director said.
Facundo said they were able to trace the source of the used rapid test kits by tracking the garbage collector who was seen carrying the medical waste through closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage.
CCTV footage from the city government on Tuesday night showed that the used rapid test kits were scattered on the street after the garbage bag carrying it was accidentally ripped open. The test kits then fell from the pedicab carrying the trash.
The garbage collector pointed the said medical laboratory in an interview with the city officials.
Facundo said the used rapid test kits can be considered infectious wastes that can pose a threat to public health since they are used to collect blood samples.
"Hindi ito (rapid test kits) dapat tinatapon na parang normal na basura (This should not be thrown away like normal garbage)," he told reporters.
"Dapat may magp-pick up na designated ng DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources), dapat authorized 'yan (A designated worker from DENR should be the one to pick that up, they should be authorized)," he added.
Facundo said CP Diagnostic Center must file their response to the order within three days. Until then, they must temporarily cease operations.
Should they not be able to submit a satisfactory reply, or any reply at all, they would face charges for violation of Republic Act No. 9003 or the Philippine Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 and RA 6969 or the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1999.