COA raises concerns over Pangasinan's improper waste disposal
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) raised concerns over improper waste disposal in the province of Pangasinan.
In their 2019 report, state auditors warned about the potential hazards brought about by improper waste disposal of 5 hospitals in Pangasinan. The hospitals are located in Alaminos City, San Carlos City, Tayug, Mangatarem, and Lingayen.
In the conduct of their report, they found that "infectious wastes such as vials, needles, ampules, used gloves, and intravenous lines...were not regularly disposed through a transport facility but were stored at waste storage area or disposed in some septic vaults."
"Inquiry from the pollution control officers revealed that there was no accredited transporter that will collect, transport, and dispose properly the infectious wastes generated by the hospitals," COA said.
This practice, according to state auditors, is not in line with Pangasinan's 10-year Provincial Solid Waste Management Plan which states that "residents and visitors enjoy a clean, litter-free, green, beautiful, and healthful community."
Aside from hospital problems, COA also said the province failed to establish materials recovery facilities, as required by law, which could have helped in the segregation of wastes.
It also noted the lack of a sanitary landfill in Pangasinan, finding that the provincial government still dumps its trash in the Clark Special Economic Zone in Tarlac through a contract with the Metro Clark Waste Management Corporation.
The province, COA said, pays P850 per ton of trash to be placed in the landfill.
"In case the disposal agreement is revoked or failed to be renewed for any cause or reason, unattended or improperly disposed solid waste could be a threat to the environment and health hazard to the public in general," COA warned.
In response, the Pangasinan government promised to use P5 million under its 2020 budget for the construction of a landfill. It also promised to get the services of a qualified transport facility to handle the proper disposal of hazardous and infectious wastes from hospitals in the province. – Rappler.com