BAGUIO CITY – The management of the Baguio Medical Center (BMC) was slapped another fine of P200,000 by the Cordillera office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR) for alleged violation of the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 6969 or the Toxic Substance and Hazardous and Nuclear Waste Control Act of 1990 and its implementing rules and regulations (IRR) and RA 9275 or the Philippine clean Water Act of 2004 for the reported dumping of hospital waste in three sites in Taloy Sur, Tuba, Benguet sometime in July.
In a 10-page order, EMB-CAR regional director Reynaldo S. Digamo sternly warned the hospital that repetition of any act constituting violations of Philippine environmental laws, rules and regulations or the conditions of their Environmental Compliance Certificates (ECCs) or permits issued by the agency shall be dealt with more severely.
Digamo ordered the BMC management that the fines imposed on the hospital shall be paid to the EMB-CAR within 15 days upon receipt of the order and that its failure to settle the prescribed fine within the reglamentary period will compel the agency to take appropriate action.
Further, the EMB-Car elevated the environmental charge for violation of Rule 27.1(a) and (f) of Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2005-10 implementing rules and regulations of the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004, including the complete case records, against BMC to the Pollution and Adjudication board (PAB) for proper disposition.
Earlier, the EMB-CAR slapped a fine of P150,000 against BFMC management for its separate violation of Presidential Decree (PD) 1586 or the Philippine Environmental Impact Assessment System for its violation of the issued ECC when it allegedly dumped its hospital waste in open spaces in Tuba town.
Digamo claimed that BMC did not inform the EMB-CAR of the reported excavation of its old dug- out pit containing hospital waste and the illegal dumping of hospital waste at Taloy Sur, Tuba, Benguet.
Moreover, he claimed that earth materials containing supposed hospital waste that were excavated from the BMC premises were transported and disposed by a non-registered hazardous transporter and treatment, storage and disposal (TSD) facility.
Digamo asserted that BMC has not complied with the pre-transport requirement, particularly the packaging and labelling requirements appropriate to the waste being transported aside from the fact that health care waste excavated and transported outside BMC’s premises were to covered with hazardous waste manifest forms.
The order added that the hospital waste excavated and hauled from the premises of the hospital were not also covered with the required permit to transport.
Earlier, concerned residents of Tuba complained on the alleged unabated dumping of supposed hazardous health care waste that came from BMKC in some areas in Taloy at the height of the monsoon rains that caused the same to flow down the different river systems up to Pugo, L Union.
Experts familiar with health car waste claimed that it could not be true that all the dumped hospital waste in Tuba came from the old dug out pit because there were alleged fresh syringes and other medical waste that were seen in the place of the dumped earth materials.