DENR probes hospital wastes found on Cebu shores

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Cebu City (CNN Philippines, January 10) — A hospital and a waste treatment facility in Cebu are under investigation for allegedly dumping hospital wastes into the Mactan Channel, authorities said.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) in the Central Visayas region has launched a probe on Davao City Environmental Care, Inc. (DCECI), a treatment and storage disposal facility and its client Chong Hua Hospital in Mandaue City.

The EMB-7 in a statement on Wednesday said it believes the two firms may be held liable for violating procedures and standards on the proper management of hazardous waste and may be fined P50,000 among other penalties. A team of investigators from the EMB-7 went to the shores of Barangay Ibo in Lapu-Lapu City after seeing on social media photos of children playing with hospital wastes.

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza said 50 kilos of hospital wastes were found at the seaside village, and these are now being examined by the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office.

Radaza believes more hospitals may have been dumping wastes into Cebu's waters. The city government is verifying the sources of wastes from hospitals such as the University of Cebu Medical Center, another hospital that has availed the services of DCECI. Another client would be the St. Vincent Hospital, the EMB said.

The EMB said the DCECI may also have its Environmental Compliance Certificate revoked for exceeding the allowable eight metric tons annual treatment capacity.

Meanwhile, the Chong Hua Hospital in a statement on January 6 said it has launched its own investigation on the matter.

"We intend to revisit our outsourcing processes and audit protocols to ensure the highest compliance to the DENR regulations and standards as well as protect the safety and welfare of the general public and our environment," it said, adding that it has been outsourcing the disposal of its biohazard wastes to the DCECI.