The observance of World Environmental Health Day underscores the significance of environmental risks to public health.
As the world experiences the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, health initiatives have been undertaken by all nations to prevent further the spread of the disease.
The Environmental Management Bureau Region XI of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources ensures good environmental health, as it continuously implement environmental laws and maintains observing health and safety protocols of its employees, clients, guests, and visitors.
Proclaimed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte through Proclamation No. 595 in 2018 “to raise public awareness of health and the environment and promote activities and programs which ensure accountability on health and environmental integrity”, the Inter-Agency Committee on Environmental Health, through its lead agencies, the Department of Health and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources was mandated to promote observance of World Environmental Health Day.
“There is a relationship between health and environment as the two are interrelated. Unhealthy environment is detrimental to public health”, Regional Director Sophie Manuel said.
Wearing of face masks have become an instantaneous health protocol. While everyone is wearing those disposable face masks, improper disposal causes tremendous effect on the environment and public health.
“Face masks should be disposed properly to prevent environmental degradation causing many health problems”, RD Sophie Manuel said.
COVID-19 has brought tremendous chaos not only economically but has also generated volume of hospital wastes. “We are at this crucial moment facing the pandemic while it gives us a challenge to address the issue on hospital wastes” RD Manuel added.
During the Enhanced Community Quarantine, EMB Central Office had issued EMB Memorandum Circular 2020-14, Memorandum Circular 2020-15 and Memorandum Circular 2016 granting Special Permit to Transport for the Transportation of Hazardous Wastes within the enhanced community quarantine period.
EMB-XI had issued twenty-four (24) Special Permit to Transport to registered transporters since the enhanced community quarantine period.
In relation to the celebration of World Environmental Health Day, which carries the theme, “ Sa panahon ng pandemya, malusog na kapaligiran ang BIDA”, the Environmental Management Bureau Region XI will organize a virtual seminar which focuses on RA 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 and RA 6969 or the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990. Expected participants which composed of Pollution Control Officers from health care facilities in Davao City will attend the virtual seminar slated on September 25, 2020.
RD Manuel added that the “learning event would help Pollution Control Officers become aware of their roles and responsibilities in ensuring that proper waste management is enforced within their area of jurisdiction”.
Apart from spearheading the virtual seminar, EMB-XI will donate re-usable face masks to frontliners of Barangay 27-C, Sta. Ana, Davao City.