GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 5 May) – The provincial government of South Cotabato is pushing for the operationalization before yearend of its P5-million treatment facility for hospital wastes.
Elbe Balucanag, environment management division chief of the Provincial Environment Management Office (PEMO), said Wednesday the construction of the health care waste treatment plant is currently ongoing and is on track towards full completion by the third quarter of the year.
She said the treatment plant’s main building, which is situated within the local government’s five-hectare Integrated Provincial Environment Management Center in Barangay Tinongcop in Tantangan municipality, is already nearing completion.
The official said they are working on the arrangements for the installation of the major components of the treatment plant, which will adopt the “pyro-clave” technology of the Davao City-based hospital wastes treatment firm RAD Green Solutions.
The company, which is accredited with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Environmental Management Bureau, operates a treatment plant in Barangay Carmen in Davao City.
When completed, Balucanag said the local government’s treatment facility would be capable of processing health care wastes at a rate of 50 kilograms per hour, with volume reduction of 80 percent and weight reduction of about 50 percent.
“We’re currently drafting the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) and manual of operations for the operationalization of the treatment plant,” Balucanag said.
She said the IRR is based on the South Cotabato Health Care Waste Ordinance, which was passed earlier his year by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
She said the ordinance covers the system for the handling, transport, storage, treatment and disposal of health care wastes in the province.
PEMO is currently studying the proposed charges and fees for the facility that includes a tipping fee of P25 per kilogram and additional transport costs per kilometer for the handling and collection of the hospital wastes, she said.
PEMO had acquired a one-ton capacity insulated van that will handle the collection of the hospital wastes.
The provincial government runs the South Cotabato provincial hospitals in Koronadal City and supports the operations of the municipal and district hospitals in Lake Sebu, Norala and Polomolok towns.
For its manpower requirement, Balucanag said they have assigned two regular and five job order employees to handle its operations.
She said the concerned workers are set to undergo capability-building training on the aspect of collection, treatment and disposal of the health care wastes at RAD’s plant.