Paje suspends permits of Capas medical waste dumpers

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje has suspended the transporter permits of Chevalier Enviro Services, Inc. (CESI) and the AEC Hauling Services (AEC) for allegedly transporting and attempting to dump untreated medical wastes at a landfill in Capas, Tarlac in violation of Republic Act 6969, also known as the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990.

At the same time, Paje also ordered a halt on the processing of CESI’s application for renewal of its Treatment, Storage and Disposal (TSD) registration pending resolution of the case filed against the company.

The suspension orders, signed by EMB Director Juan Miguel Cuna, directed Chevalier Enviro Services, Inc. and AEC Hauling Services in Parañaque and Pasig cities, respectively, to cease and desist from transporting and accepting healthcare wastes for treatment at their facilities.

Cuna cited in the suspension orders the investigation report submitted by its regional office in Pampanga which found that the hospital wastes loaded in the two trucks were   “unsafe to transport due to unsanitary condition such as foul odor and drenching of blood residue,” and without any appropriate hazard warning labels or covering.

Further, the permit to transport (PTT) submitted by the truck drivers did not match with the manifest, which stated CESI as transporter but which the PTT was identified as AEC .

According to Cuna, both AEC and CESI would be subject to sanctions as defined under the prohibited administrative and criminal acts as well as the penalty provisions of RA 6969 and its implementing rules and regulations.

“This should serve as a warning to other waste treatment facilities and transporters to abide by the rules.    Public health comes above business interest,” Paje said, as he lauded the police officers of Capas, Tarlac for apprehending the two trucks containing some eight tons of medical wastes intended for dumping to the Metro Clark Sanitary Landfill, also in Capas, but which were refused by the landfill management due to its “untreated condition”. 

 

Paje is also enjoining hospitals and other medical facilities to ensure that their wastes are treated and disposed of properly.  “The management of wastes, particularly hazardous wastes, requires not only collection and disposal at the designated facilities but more importantly, proper treatment and safe transport to shield the public from unnecessary exposure to microbes and other pollutants that may have adverse effect on public health,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, EMB-Region 3 Director Lormelyn Claudio said that a representative from AEC indicated during the technical conference called by her office on Tuesday that the wastes loaded in the trucks were “a mix of treated and untreated hospital wastes.”  The wastes have been hauled back to Chevalier treatment facility on order of EMB.

Claudio also said that based on consultation with the local government unit, the EMB will be reactivating the Multi-partite Monitoring Team composed of representatives from various sectors to prevent a repeat of the incident 

 
 

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje rallied last week his field officials to ensure the success of the National Greening Program, saying the program has full support of the President.

    “There is no reason to fail considering that President Aquino has amply given all the support this program (NGP) needs to succeed,” Paje told the regional executive directors (REDs),  regional technical directors, and the provincial and community environment and natural resources officers (PENROs, CENROs) attending the 2-day National Convention of Field Officers held May 31-June 1, 2011 at the DENR Social Hall in Quezon City.

    Paje also challenged the field officials “to give their best shot” as their performance in implementing the NGP will be “highly taken into consideration’ in the evaluation of officials for promotions.
 
“Those who will be performing will be rewarded. Wala pong biro yan,” Paje said, stressing that the field officers will be evaluated fairly based on a purely-merit system “without regard for personal ties or past associations” he has made through over 20 years at the DENR where he started his career as a casual forester.

Paje said the NGP-driven performance-based incentive scheme will first zero in on the PENRO and CENRO positions, with an instruction to DENR Assistant Secretary for Management and Finance Corazon Davis to reserve the vacant PENRO and CENRO posts as rewards for NGP’s top performers especially those that are on an acting capacity. 

“If you are a CENRO, you will automatically become a PENRO.  Those who are not yet full-pledged CENRO (with temporary appointment), we will make you full-pledged CENROs. Performance lamang, wala nang iba,”  Paje stressed. 

Of the 168 CENRO plantilla positions, 47 have yet to be filled;  while 25 remain vacant in the 73 PENRO  plantilla posts.

The incentive scheme forms part of Paje’s overall program to strengthen DENR’s performance-based promotion system to beef up the national leadership’s efforts in professionalizing the  Philippine bureaucracy.

But Paje was quick to clarify that the quality of their performance will be determined by the survival of the seedling declared in their performance and not merely on the number of seedling planted.

“Remember, the NGP is a national priority program of President Aquino, and this is not for show but for grow. Gone are the days when tree planting activities were just to set world records or just for photo opportunities,” Paje noted.

At the same time, Paje asked “doubting Thomases” to be forthcoming this early with their hesitation to go all out to meet their targets to allow for management to act appropriately in their particular case.

“We will make sure that everybody performs. Kung sino sa inyo ang tingin ay hindi kayang ipatupad ang programang ito, sabihin na ninyo ngayon,” Paje said.

The performance-based incentive will be based on the field officials’ scorecard in the  yearly targets given them and will be validated with the use of state-of-the art technology such as satellite mapping and internet-based technology through NGP’s website at the www.ngp.denr.gov.ph

DENR establishes Sinocalan-Dagupan River System as new water quality management area

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has designated the Sinocalan-Dagupan River System (SDRS) in Pangasinan province as another Water Quality Management Area (WQMA) in line with the government efforts to speed up the rehabilitation of  important rivers in the country facing threat from development activities. 

In DENR Administrative Order 2011-14, dated November 23, 2011, Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje also called for the creation of a multi-sectoral governing board that will oversee the management of the water quality of SDRS where contamination from development activities was found to be beyond acceptable levels based on the results of a four-month long monitoring activity conducted in 19 sampling stations between January to April this year.  

“The SDRS case amplifies our call to urgently act on the dying conditions of the country’s important water bodies,” Paje said, stressing that designating WQMAs will enable concerned officials both in the national and local levels to take focused interventions on specific water quality issues relevant to a particular locality. 

The WQMA governing board is composed of mayors and governors of concerned LGUs, and representatives of relevant national government agencies, duly registered non-government organizations, water utility sector, and the business sector.  The DENR representative chairs the governing board.

“We are working towards designating more river systems as water quality management areas. But more importantly, we are currently working closely with key stakeholders in these areas to mobilize their governing boards,” Paje said.

He also expressed gratitude to members of the Pangasinan Provincial Council headed by Pangasinan Vice Governor  Jose Ferdinand Calimlim, Jr., who called on the DENR through  a provincial resolution issued last August, to designate the Sinocalan-Dagupan River System as a WQMA. 

Republic Act  No. 9275, also known as the Philippine Clean Water Act  of 2004, mandates the DENR, in coordination with National Water Resources Board (NWRB), to  designate certain areas as WQMAs  using appropriate physiographic units such as watershed, river basins, or water resources regions to effectively enforce its provisions and improve the water quality of water bodies.

The law also seeks to provide a decentralized management system for water quality protection and improvement of rivers that have similar hydrological, hydro geological, meteorological, or geographic conditions which affect the physical, chemical, biological and bacteriological reactions and diffusion of pollutants in the water bodies, or otherwise share common interest or face similar development programs, prospects or problems. 

Under the WQMA, the DENR and the stakeholders will address the water quality problems, sources of pollution, and the beneficial use of the receiving water body. They will also determine what control measures to institute to effectively achieve water quality objectives or improvements.

Each WQMA has a governing board which serves as its  planning, monitoring, and coordinating body. The governing board likewise reviews the WQMA action plan prepared by the DENR through the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB).

The SDRS designation brings to seven the number of WQMAs existing in the country, which includes the Marilao-Meycauayan-Obando river system and areas within Laguna Lake Development Authority’s jurisdiction in Luzon;   the Tigum-Aganan watershed and the Iloilo-Batiano river system in the Visayas;  and the  Silway River and the Sarangani Bay in Mindanao.

The SDRS, whose development activities are predominantly  for aquaculture, agriculture and domestic purposes - snakes  through  the municipalities of Binalonan, Sta. Barbara, Calasiao, Mangaldan, Malasiqui and Binmaley and the cities of Urdaneta, San Carlos and Dagupan before eventually draining into  the Lingayen Gulf.  

 
 

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje rallied last week his field officials to ensure the success of the National Greening Program, saying the program has full support of the President.

    “There is no reason to fail considering that President Aquino has amply given all the support this program (NGP) needs to succeed,” Paje told the regional executive directors (REDs),  regional technical directors, and the provincial and community environment and natural resources officers (PENROs, CENROs) attending the 2-day National Convention of Field Officers held May 31-June 1, 2011 at the DENR Social Hall in Quezon City.

    Paje also challenged the field officials “to give their best shot” as their performance in implementing the NGP will be “highly taken into consideration’ in the evaluation of officials for promotions.
 
“Those who will be performing will be rewarded. Wala pong biro yan,” Paje said, stressing that the field officers will be evaluated fairly based on a purely-merit system “without regard for personal ties or past associations” he has made through over 20 years at the DENR where he started his career as a casual forester.

Paje said the NGP-driven performance-based incentive scheme will first zero in on the PENRO and CENRO positions, with an instruction to DENR Assistant Secretary for Management and Finance Corazon Davis to reserve the vacant PENRO and CENRO posts as rewards for NGP’s top performers especially those that are on an acting capacity. 

“If you are a CENRO, you will automatically become a PENRO.  Those who are not yet full-pledged CENRO (with temporary appointment), we will make you full-pledged CENROs. Performance lamang, wala nang iba,”  Paje stressed. 

Of the 168 CENRO plantilla positions, 47 have yet to be filled;  while 25 remain vacant in the 73 PENRO  plantilla posts.

The incentive scheme forms part of Paje’s overall program to strengthen DENR’s performance-based promotion system to beef up the national leadership’s efforts in professionalizing the  Philippine bureaucracy.

But Paje was quick to clarify that the quality of their performance will be determined by the survival of the seedling declared in their performance and not merely on the number of seedling planted.

“Remember, the NGP is a national priority program of President Aquino, and this is not for show but for grow. Gone are the days when tree planting activities were just to set world records or just for photo opportunities,” Paje noted.

At the same time, Paje asked “doubting Thomases” to be forthcoming this early with their hesitation to go all out to meet their targets to allow for management to act appropriately in their particular case.

“We will make sure that everybody performs. Kung sino sa inyo ang tingin ay hindi kayang ipatupad ang programang ito, sabihin na ninyo ngayon,” Paje said.

The performance-based incentive will be based on the field officials’ scorecard in the  yearly targets given them and will be validated with the use of state-of-the art technology such as satellite mapping and internet-based technology through NGP’s website at the www.ngp.denr.gov.ph

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