PRESIDENTIAL candidate Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. and his running-mate Davao Mayor Sara Duterte have called on all relevant offices and agencies to ensure proper management and disposal of medical wastes.
The BBM-Sara UniTeam pointed out that improper disposal of medical wastes could abet the spread of various life-threatening diseases, including the still prevalent and dangerous Covid19.
Both Bongbong and Sara made the call after receiving reports about an incident in Virac, Catanduanes where eight out of 23 children got infected with coronavirus after playing near the area where a diagnostics laboratory was dumping its hazardous wastes.
“If we don’t dispose of medical wastes properly, there is a risk that communities living near dumpsites will be exposed to viruses and other pathogenic microorganisms, such as what happened in Virac. It could trigger another surge of infections,” the tandem said.
Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the vast amount of waste produced in tackling the Covid19 pandemic posed a threat to human and environmental health, adding that the tens of thousands of tons of extra medical waste had put a huge strain on healthcare waste management systems.
The international health agency issued the warning as it reported that safe management services for healthcare waste were lacking even before the pandemic added further pressures.
According to 2019 data, one in three healthcare facilities globally did not safely manage healthcare waste, and in the least-developed countries, two in three facilities did not have a basic healthcare waste management service.
In line with this, the UniTeam called for the strengthening of the country’s response to the threats posed by improper disposal of medical wastes.
They added that aside from focusing on proper waste disposal, they also plan to put on top of their priorities the issues relative to climate change and global warming should they win in the May 9 elections.
“Isa sa mga tututukan namin ay ang pagresolba sa climate change, which is a global problem. Towards this end, improving our waste management program is included in our plan of action because poor waste management contributes to climate change and pollution,’ the tandem added.
“Ang problema sa basura ay isa sa mga problemang matagal nang kinakaharap ng ating bansa. Our environment is begging to be rescued from the snares of imminent destruction,” the duo stressed.
Marcos, who has always been a staunch advocate of protecting and preserving the environment, filed several measures towards this end when he was still a senator.