It has been more than three years, but the City Government of Puerto Princesa is still in the process of pushing for amendment approval on Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) of Sanitary Landfill to pave way for the continuation of hospital waste treatment operation.
City Environment and Natural Resources Officer Atty. Carlo B. Gomez said that since his assumption to office in November, he already called the attention of the City Mayor’s Office, City Legal, and City Administration Office about the issue. He pointed out that the landfill has a mother ECC, but it needs amendment to cover wastewater and hospital wastes treatment.
The ECC only covers project for material recovery facility, systematized sanitary disposal of solid waste, reduction of air and waterborne diseases in relation to open dumping and pollution reduction to nearby areas with emphasis to Tagburos River and Honda Bay.
According to Atty. Gomez, they started facilitating the allocation of P5M for Environmental Guarantee Fund.
After EGF allocation which will be spent for whatever environmental destruction the project may cause, they will proceed with the amendments.
Aside from EGF allocation, the DENR – Environmental Management Bureau is requiring the city government to submit a comprehensive solid waste management plan, adequate baseline data on mercury contamination, National Museum Certification on the archaeological condition of the site, and establishment of Multi-partite Monitoring Team (MMT).
The city government has commissioned a third party Pollution Abatement System Specialist Inc. (PASSI), to handle hospital wastes and wastewater of the city in 2010. But their operation stopped after two years because of the needs for ECC amendments.
Atty. Gomez said that pending the ECC amendment, the wastes are being put in vault. Since the operation is frozen for years and thereby forcing hospitals in the city to tend to their wastes, it poses risk to the public especially to garbage collectors.