AN environment and public health watchdog urged Health Secretary Francisco Duque and Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu to investigate the reported bio hazard dumping in Tuba, Benguet.
In letters sent to Duque and Cimatu through the DOH and DENR offices in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), the EcoWaste Coalition called the incident a deplorable scandal.
“We request your good offices to get to the bottom of this dumping incident in Tuba that reportedly includes dextrose bottles, sharps like needles and syringes, fluid packs, IV tubings, vials and body parts,” said EcoWaste Coalition President Eileen Sison, adding that “a thorough investigation will show the nature and volume of hospital waste materials dumped and the extent of the pollution caused.”
The investigation will further show compliance or rather the lack of compliance to the DOH’s Health Care Waste Management Manual and the Joint DENR-DOH A.O. 2005-02, or the ‘Policies and Guidelines on Effective and Proper Handling, Collection, Transport, Treatment, Storage and Disposal of Health Care Wastes,’ Sison insists.
EcoWaste’s letter to the DOH and DENR was prompted by complaints from local groups such as the Social Action Center and the Holy Family Basic Ecclesial Community based out of Saint Paul’s Parish in Bawek, Taloy Sur, Tuba, Benguet.
EcoWaste asked Duque and Cimatu “to ensure that the concerns of the Tuba authorities and people are justly and swiftly tackled and that adequate remedies are promptly undertaken to address the health and environmental threats, particularly from the infectious and toxic fraction of the dumped hospital waste.”