Herbosa orders investigation into reported cases of respiratory, cardiovascular diseases in Batangas

The Department of Health-Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) Calabarzon said it is now investigating the reported increase in respiratory and cardiovascular cases that are possibly linked to exposure to liquefied natural gas (LNG) power plants in Batangas City. 

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(Photo courtesy of DOH)


“Upon directives from DOH Secretary Teodoro ‘Ted’ Herbosa, we have launched an investigation to validate the reported increase in cases of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases in Batangas City in collaboration with the City Health Office,” DOH Calabarzon Regional Director Ariel Valencia said in a statement on Friday, Aug. 18.

“Initially based on the pooled data of morbidity and mortality cases from the City health office, we have not yet seen anything that we can link to the power plant operation,” Valencia said in a mix of English and Filipino.

He noted that the process of validating the claim will take some time.

"We have to look at the other relevant documents such as the baseline data on air and water quality, and most importantly, check on the health of the affected communities,” he added. 

He further stated the team went to Batangas City to work closely with the City Health Office to validate the morbidity data is composed of staff from Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management in Health (DRRM-H), Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (RESU), and the Non-Communicable Disease Cluster led by Dr. Voltaire Guadalupe.

DOH added that the team paid a courtesy call to Batangas Mayor Beverly Rose Dimacuha-Mariño to visit the power plants and the two surrounding barangays.

Meanwhile, the Batangas City Health Office in a statement last Jan., affirmed that “it found no evidence-based data,” saying that LNG or fossil gas power plants directly induce Influenza-like Illness (ILI) in the five barangays in Batangas City. 

However, DOH assured that an investigation will be conducted to determine the health risks related to exposure to LNG power plants. (Rhowen Del Rosario)