THE city government of Manila has ordered a Quiapo-based medical laboratory to temporarily close shop and explain within 72 hours why it should not be permanently stopped from operating following its alleged violation of guidelines on the disposal of hazardous and infectious wastes.
Manila City Bureau of Permits and Licensing Office officer in charge Levi Facundo said a show-cause order was issued on Wednesday night against physician Noval Santos and Zernan Canonigo, owners of the C.P. Diagnostic Center.
Facundo said Santos and Canonigo have been asked to explain why no charges should be slapped against them for violating the protocols on the disposal of hazardous and infectious wastes, especially amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Facundo also said investigators found out that the laboratory does not have a sanitary permit and that its contracts with workers designated to properly collect their medical wastes have already expired.
He said the medical clinic has been ordered to “temporarily cease its operations” until it has addressed its violations.
“They must file their response within three days. Until then, they must temporarily cease their operations,” Facundo said.
An investigation conducted by the Manila Police Department and the City Health Office showed that C.P. Diagnostic Center was the source of the used test kits that were found littering the M. Dela Fuente street in Sampaloc, Manila on Tuesday night.
The test kits fell off from a garbage bag attached to a pedicab used by a scavenger.
Mayor Isko Moreno has said that the health facility which used the test kits could be charged for not following proper waste disposal rules. He said had the kits been discarded properly, these would not ave ended up in the hands of the garbage hunter.
Facundo said charges for violation of Republic Act 6969, or the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Waste Control Act of 1999, and RA 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2003, may be filed against the management of the medical laboratory.
Moreno has warned clinics, laboratories and hospitals in the city to comply with protocols on the proper disposal of hazardous and infectious wastes, or else, they will be charged and their operations stopped.