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Puerto Princesa groundbreaks P25 million hospital waste treatment plant joint venture PDF Print E-mail
By Lyle B. Coruna

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Mar. 4, 2010 (PNA) – Puerto Princesa City mayor Edward Hagedorn and Julito Pugoy, president of Cebu-based Pollution Abatement Systems Specialist Incorporation (PASSI) led the groundbreaking ceremony of the construction of a medical waste treatment plant on a 1,000 square-meter lot near the Sanitary Landfill in Bgy. Sta. Lourdes, this city.

“This project finally completes our line of facilities that will greatly enhance our compliance to numerous environmental laws on waste management,” Hagedorn, who made a name as a local chief executive for a hall-famer city on cleanliness, said.
The waste treatment facility costs P25 million. It is the first joint venture deal of PASSI with a local government unit in its six years of operation.

”We want to be successful on this because this might spark our nationwide expansion bid and partnership with other LGUs in the country”, Pugoy said.

Dr. Juancho Monserate, city health officer expressed gratitude to Hagedorn and the members of the city council for acting speedily on the concerns of hospital and funeral parlor managements on proper handling, treatment and disposal of medical waste.

”Our hospitals want to treat the needles, scalpels, lancets, saw, syringes, infusion set, tissues, body parts, and excretes before finally sending it to the sanitary landfill”, the city doctor said.

”Based on our initial study, the city has about 150 kilos of daily medical waste from all hospitals with combined capacity of 300 beds. Unlike our treatment plant in Cebu which caters for 5,000 beds, we still need to wait for about 4 years here in Puerto Princesa before we can clearly claim a good return of investment,” Vic Vosotros, corporate secretary of Cebu-based PASSI explained.

Visotros added that the company continues to suffer losses in Cebu and operates less than the capacity since only few healthcare establishments are availing of their service.

However, Hagedorn said they did not approve the plan just to generate income.

”We need to protect our people and the environment from potential infectious exposure to disease causing agents. We are glad PASSI supports our cause by propagating the technology in our city,” the mayor said.

The city government will receive 10 percent share from the facility’s net income.

City councilor Luis Marcaida II is hopeful that the compliance of Puerto Princesa hospitals to Republic Act 6969, also known as the “Toxic Substance and Hazardous and Nuclear Waste Control Act of 1990” may trigger the interest of the city government to achieve its plan of becoming a medical tourist destination in the near future.

The city council will legislate a supporting ordinance to guide the
medical service providers in dealing with their wastes.

On the part of hospital operators, Lydia Tanaman, vice president for operation of Palawan Adventist Hospital said they welcome the latest development on waste management by having a right facility to treat their hazardous solid wastes.

Joy Dalendeg, head nurse of MMG-PPC Cooperative Hospital said they will comply with the law to impress support to government’s campaign on waste management.

Medical wastes from public and private hospitals, birthing clinics, funeral parlors and other healthcare establishments will be stored in a metal cart to be collected and transported to the treatment plant by a refrigerated van.

The autoclave machine destroys viruses and bacteria in medical waste by employing 45-minute heat of 180 to 250 degrees centigrade. It is equipped with metal chamber sealed by a charging door and surrounded by a steam jacket.

After treatment, the waste materials will be delivered to the landfill.

Earl Buenviaje, manager of the country’s first engineered Puerto Princesa Sanitary Landfill said local healthcare establishments are segregating their hazardous waste from the general waste but these are left untreated and disposed of in their landfill for lack of an alternative treatment of disposal system.

”This practice puts our people, the hospital staff and waste workers to maximum health risk from communicable diseases”, Buenviaje observed.

After the groundbreaking which coincides with the city’s celebration of 138th founding anniversary, both parties will fulfill their respective obligations to realize the operation of an autoclave treatment facility.

Hagedorn is enjoining all hospitals and clinics in Puerto Princesa to support the project. Lyle B. Coruña (PNA)
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