By KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY—The Benguet Provincial Police filed a complaint for violation of environmental laws against the Baguio Medical Center (BMC) and Onofre Calam-ang a contractor, at the Benguet Prosecutor’s office on July 19 for the dumping of medical waste along Taloy Sur village in Tuba, Benguet.
According to Police Chief Inspector James Acod, the complaint was docketed as I-05-INV-18D-00308.
Director Reynaldo Digamo of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) said they also issued a notice of violation to BMC on July 19 also for violation of environmental laws.
A certain Dave Demot, appeared at the Tuba municipal police office on July 19 and admitted that he recommended the lot of Prudencio Laurian to Calam-ang for dumping area. He said Laurian agreed with the condition that the soil was clean.
Demot told the police that when he learned that medical waste was included in the soil that was dumped in Laurain’s lot on July 10, he called Calam-ang to inform him. He also told Calam-ang to clean up.
Demot also told the police that Calam-ang told him that the soil was from his earth moving project at the BMC.
Residents of Taloy Sur discovered medical waste like syringes, broken glass containers, tubes and dextrose containers along the creeks near Laurian’s property on July 9. They subsequently informed the Tuba Municipal Environment and Resources Officer (MENRO) on July 11, and the police of July 14. On July 17, the Saint Paul’s Parish wrote the Department of Health, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and EMB.
Engr. Sammy Paquit, MENRO of Tuba and Jackson Pasamic, Tuba municipal engineer with Juan Sibayan, Taloy Sur village chief inspected the area on July 12 and ordered the contractor to clean up the area.
Vicky Ducat, a resident and coordinator of the Social Action Center of Saint Paul’s Parish earlier said that the medical waste must be retrieved immediately from the Taloy Sur and be properly disposed. She said that medical waste is toxic and poses danger to the people, animals and the environment as a whole.
Ducat said the medical waste must have been washed down the creeks by the continuous rains.
The creeks drain to the Nabjeng River in Tabaan Norte, Tuba; a main contributory to the Tapuakan River which is considered the cleanest river in the Ilocos Region. It is also a tourist destination.
Ducat said those reponsible for the dumping of medical waste should be held accountable. “We really need help because it has taken too long for our local government to respond and the longer the medical wastes are not properly retrieved and disposed, the more harm the pollutants pose,” she said. #Kinordis.net