Concerns on proper disposal of hospital wastes resurfaced at the committee level discussions of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan where an efficient technology is sought to protect the public from any hazard they may pose.
The issue already caught the attention of the Bohol Environment Management Office (BEMO), the regional office of the Department of Health (DOH)-7, and the city government, especially the concern on Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital (GCGMH).
In fact, the BEMO reported in 2013 that the waste disposal system at the GCGMH had been monitored already.
DOH-7, then, had also said a process had been undertaken already to purchase an equipment to dispose and treat wastes from the hospital.
City officials at that time, for their part, discussed the matter with regional officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-7.
Tagbilaran City Mayor John Geesnell Yap II also met with the hospital administrators to have their round of discussion on how to address the concern.
This time, a Davao-based company, RAD Green Solutions presented its product called the dual-chamber Pyroclave Mantis that “utilizes the process of pyrolysis wherein wastes are thermally decomposed without direct fire contact and in the absence of oxygen”.
Lilybeth Gabonada of RAD Green Solutions attended the joint meeting called by the SP Committee on Health and Public Sanitation, chaired by SP Member Jade Bautista, and the SP Committee on Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, chaired by SP Member Agapito Avenido, on November 9.
During the meeting, Gabonada explained that their machine “has two ppyrolysis chambers for the treatment of infectious medical wastes”.
RAD Green Solutions holds the patent for Pyroclave Mantis as a proprietary technology it developed.
Gabonada explained that it is a Hydroburn technology that “has the ability to achieve more heat with less fuel”.
She said the machine has heavy duty shredders where “the negative pressure inside the shredding chamber ensures all dusts and small particles are sucked inside the thermal chamber blown outside”.
She added that their company aims to offer the technology to “solve environmental problems in the next decade”.
RAD Green Solutions also has offices at the Coporate Center in Makati City.
The inquiry on the waste disposal implemented at the GCGMH was in response to the privilege speech of SP Member Ricky Masamayor on the October 20 regular session where he raised the concern on the serious implications of the waste disposal systems adopted by hospitals in Bohol.
Masamayor pointed out that there should be an efficient technology to be employed to ensure public safety.
He also said that the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) is ready to provide P25 million but requires the submission of proposals and documents to support the release of funds.
The discussion the hospital waste disposal during the joint committee meeting of the SP Committee on Health and Public Sanitation and the SP Committee on Natural Resources and Environmental Protection on November 9 tackled not only the concern on GCGMH, but also the rest of the 10 province-run hospitals in Bohol.
The two SP committees wanted the hospitals to come up with clear a waste disposal system to make sure that the concern is addressed once and for all.
Dr. Fruserma”Em-em” Uy, Medical Officer III of the Provincial Health Office admitted during the meeting that hospital waste disposal is, indeed, a problem since their vault for hospital wastes is almost full at this time.
On the other hand, the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) headed by its officer-in-charge, Caesar Pelaez, is investigating the reported fish kill along the seawaters of K of C Drive in Poblacion II, in relation to the presence of a drainage that pumped murky and stinky liquid material to the seawater in the area.
The particular area is located across the exit gate of Ramiro Community Hospital.
The CENRO investigation was in response to the Facebook post of the Philippine Coast Guard stationed at the K of C Drive, showing some fish found dead.
However, the dead school of fish were no longer there when the CENRO team checked the area which could have been used for sampling to determine what caused their death.
Pelaez said though that they could still use the seawater in the area for sampling to determine if it’s contaminated.
Pelaez also said they will coordinate with the City Engineer’s Office to trace where the drainage is connected since the CENRO had not allowed any release of wastewater through a drainage at the K of C Drive.
Pelaez added that if the drainage connection will be found to be illegal, they will impose penalty to the establishment responsible for the release of wastewater to the seawaters of K of C Drive.
The CENRO investigation will cover all establishments in the vicinity, including Ramiro Community Hospital.
Infectious waste from hospitals is excluded from the definition of “solid waste” in the Republic Act 9003 or the “Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000”.
The law defines solid waste as those “discarded household, commercial waste, non-hazardous institutional and industrial waste, street sweepings, construction debris, agricultural waste, and other non-hazardous/non-toxic solid waste”.
It excludes “infectious waste from hospitals such as equipment, instruments, utensils, and fomites of a disposable nature from patients who are suspected to have or have been diagnosed as having communicable diseases and must therefore be isolated as required by public health agencies, laboratory wastes such as pathological specimens (i.e. all tissues, specimens of blood elements, excreta, and secretions obtained from patients or laboratory animals) and disposable fomites that may harbor or transmit pathogenic organisms, and surgical operating room pathologic materials from outpatient areas and emergency rooms”.