Benguet residents complain of hospital waste dumping near river

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TUBA, Benguet –– Officials and residents of Barangay Taloy Sur in this town are up in arms against the dumping of hospital wastes on a private lot near a river.

A contractor of a  medical facility in Baguio City reportedly dumped the hospital waste.

The  river flows through residential areas, particularly sitios Diyang, Pi-ig, Shumshang, Bakbakan, Nabjeng, Parasipis, Tapuakan, and down to as far as Pugo town in La Union.

Tuba Mayor Ignacio Rivera ordered the immediate cleanup of the area and disclosed a possible filing of cases against those concerned.

Rivera told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Thursday, that  Taloy Sur Barangay Captain  Sibayan Juan  reported about the dumping of hospital wastes in their community.

Rivera said he would soon issue an order for the contractor of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) to remove their wastes from the waterway.

The Mayor  said he would ask the contractor to make sure the hospital wastes  would not pose health hazards to the people and animals living in the area.

Juan claimed he  discovered the wastes last July 11. The wastes were reportedly dumped by the contractor last July 9 into a private lot in Bayacsan area beside the river.

The property owner reportedly allowed the use of the lot, but only for the dumping of soil and other filling materials from construction sites.

The hospital contractor reportedly dumped the “special wastes”, which, residents fear, pose health dangers to the residents, especially with the continuous rains.

“The soil could erode and carry with it the uncollected wastes, bringing it to the river,” Rivera said.

Juan  also asked for the immediate construction of a dike that would prevent landslide in the area and the spread of whatever hazards the hospital wastes could have on the residents.

The barangay chief also told the mayor that the dumped wastes had been cleansed, which were manually picked up by the employees of the garbage hauler of BGHMC.

The dumping issue was already brought to the attention of the Environment Management Bureau (EMB) Cordillera. The agency is now preparing a report as well as the possible filing of environmental degradation case against all those concerned. –PNA

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