Na-shock pud ko (I’m also shocked)

I don’t want tourists from South Korea and main­land China to tell their friends back home they en­coun­tered used adult di­a­pers while traips­ing along the shore

Sun.Star Cebu - - OPINION - PUBLIO J. BRI­ONES III pjbri­[email protected]­star.com.ph

Be­wil­dered, he cer­tainly was. He may even have been both­ered. But I’m not sure “be­witched” would be an apt word to de­scribe the re­ac­tion of the man­ag­ing head of the Davao City En­vi­ron­men­tal Care Inc. (DCECI) when told about the med­i­cal wastes that were found in the Mac­tan Chan­nel and along the shore of four barangays in Lapu-Lapu City.

“Na-shock mi (We were shocked),” said the guy who re­quested anonymity for se­cu­rity pur­poses. Well, duh!

His com­pany was sup­posed to take care of the med­i­cal wastes from the Chong Hua Hospi­tal Man­daue Can­cer Cen­ter, the Uni­ver­sity of Cebu Med­i­cal Cen­ter and the Dr. Ig­na­cio M. Cortes Hospi­tal.

You know, treat­ing the wastes be­fore dis­pos­ing of these in the proper man­ner in the com­pany’s facility in Barangay Uma­pad, Man­daue City. Not let­ting sy­ringes, nee­dles, vials con­tain­ing blood sam­ples and other what­nots float around the wa­ter that di­vides the Cebu main­land from Mac­tan Is­land.

Then I found out that yel­low trash bags con­tain­ing med­i­cal wastes, sim­i­lar to those found in Barangay Ibo in Lapu-Lapu City, were also dis­cov­ered along the banks of the Bu­tu­anon River in Man­daue.

John Quiamco, EMB 7 Solid Waste Man­age­ment Mon­i­tor­ing Sec­tion chief, also said they dis­cov­ered med­i­cal wastes on the coast of Man­daue City.

So okay, the agency had yet to con­firm if the yel­low trash bags came from the DCECI which, by the way, quickly de­nied own­er­ship.

Ei­ther way, the com­pany is now on the radar of Man­daue City of­fi­cials.

City Ad­min­is­tra­tor Danilo Al­men­dras has or­dered the City Li­cens­ing Of­fice to tag DCECI in case it plans to re­new its city per­mits.

I know cer­tain sec­tors want to down­play this is­sue.

After all, many vis­i­tors are ex­pected to flock to Cebu in the next few days to par­tic­i­pate in var­i­ous Sin­u­log-re­lated fes­tiv­i­ties. These sec­tors cer­tainly don’t want the vis­i­tors to get a bad im­pres­sion dur­ing their visit.

Maybe these sec­tors want to show off Cebu’s re­li­gios­ity, I don’t know. Maybe they’re proud of Cebu’s “ro­bust” econ­omy. Or maybe they just want Cebu to live up to its rep­u­ta­tion of be­ing home to beau­ti­ful women, de­li­cious man­goes and pris­tine beaches, as long as these beaches do not bor­der the Mac­tan Chan­nel, that is.

Tourism stake­hold­ers ear­lier de­scribed the mat­ter when it first came out as an “iso­lated case.” Well, guess what? It isn’t.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want tourists from South Korea and main­land China to tell their friends back home they en­coun­tered used adult di­a­pers while traips­ing along the shore.

But it doesn’t mean the is­sue should be swept un­der the rug.

That’s why I’m won­der­ing why the EMB 7 is han­dling the DCECI with kid gloves. Trust me, the P250,000 fine that the agency im­posed on the com­pany is mere peanuts com­pared to what it earns for sup­pos­edly col­lect­ing, haul­ing, trans­port­ing, stor­ing and treat­ing med­i­cal wastes of sev­eral metro hos­pi­tals.

At least the Man­daue City En­vi­ron­ment and Nat­u­ral Re­sources Of­fice wants the DCECI to stop op­er­a­tion for vi­o­lat­ing san­i­ta­tion and waste dis­posal pro­ce­dures.

Mean­while, the com­pany and its “na-shock mi” man­ag­ing head have yet to is­sue an of­fi­cial state­ment.

So what are they wait­ing for?

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