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Fishermen, tourists warned vs. hospital wastes at Mactan Sea

CEBU CITY — The City Government of Lapu-Lapu has cautioned fishermen in the tourist island of Mactan against fishing, and for tourists not to swim along the shores of the village of Ibo where hospital wastes were found floating.

The Lapu-Lapu City Legal Officer Ethelbert Ouano said they sent letters to Chong Hua Hospital and Ignacio Cortes General Hospital in Mandaue asking administrators to explain why their waste ended up in the sea of Mactan after hospital labels were discovered in some of the medical trash.

Charles Vailoces, a spokesman for Mayor Paz Radaza, said a report that 3 human fingers were also found inside a garbage bag loaded with dextrose and blood containers, blood chemistry strips, fecal tubes, syringes, and kidney trays, among others, floating at the shore.

Vailoces told the Philippine News Agency that the private hospitals have already acknowledged receiving the show cause order from the City Attorney’s Office. The hospital wastes were discovered when netizens posted on social media photos of trash floating along the shores of Ibo.

The Chong Hua Hospital management said it has initiated a probe on the incident, adding, all its hospital waste were being disposed by a third party.

“Mayor Paz has condemned it. It’s alarming because we know that garbage came from the hospitals may be infectious. We need to be cautious so not to expose our fishermen, our residents, and tourists from possible harm,” Vailoces said. “Tungod tingale sa holiday break, nagtinapulan ang contractors nayabo lang sa dagat. Tungod sa current, naanod dinhi sa Lapu-Lapu (Due to the holiday break, the contractors paid to dispose of the garbage could have thrown them to the sea. The current could have brought them to Lapu-Lapu),” he said.

Environmental Management Bureau-Central Visayas Regional Director William Cuñado said a team of inspectors was already sent to coordinate with the city officials in cleaning up the shores. Department of Health-Central Visayas Regional Director Jaime Bernadas told the PNA that their environmental occupational health officers were deployed to probe the incident.

He said they will ask the two hospitals about the circumstances that led to their garbage ending up at the shore of Mactan Island.

“Health and sanitation team from the agency as well as from the local government unit were able to recover a few boxes of hospital trash,” he said, adding, that they are aware that the hospitals have been contracting third party firms for their waste disposal. (John Rey Saavedra)


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