MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday renewed his call for the proper disposal of medical waste that poses a threat to human health and the environment if improperly handled.
In a pre-recorded public address, Duterte described the failure to comply with proper waste management as a “serious concern.”
“A serious concern is the proper disposal of medical waste. There have been several reports of poor disposal,” he said.
He urged hospitals and other healthcare establishments to ensure that there are no adverse health and environmental consequences in their handling, storage, treatment, and disposal of medical waste.
“Balutin ninyo yung mga ano ninyo, mga medisina, yung naturok na, tsaka yung mga syringe, balutin ninyo at ibigay ninyo sa basurero. Alam nila kung anong gawin nila (Wrap them properly those syringes and give them to garbage collectors. They know what to do with them),” he added.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) last April said around 52,000 metric tons of medical waste has so far been generated amid the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Duterte emphasized the need to give attention to the rise of larger volumes of plastic waste which resulted from the pandemic.
“On June 5, the global community celebrated World Environment Day to promote greater commitment to care [for] our planet. Sadly, however, the Covid-19 crisis also gave a rise to plastic waste. The popularity of delivery of services has produced considerable solid waste such as the delivery packaging of both food and non-food products,” he said.
Late last month, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) unveiled a regional action plan (RAP) for combating marine debris in its member states for the 2021-2025 period.
The plan will serve as a joint strategy focusing on solutions to the question of plastic pollution in the region.
According to ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi, the plan adopted by ASEAN member- states ahead of World Environment Day (June 5) and World Ocean Day (June 8) has been described as a new achievement for the region, which has shown firm commitment, in line with the national agenda of each member state, in facing environmental challenges through actions at the regional level.
Nearly 80 percent of the garbage in the sea is believed to be plastic. Six out of 10 ASEAN member-states produce more than 31 million tons of plastic waste per year, he added. (PNA)