OPPOSITION Senator Leila M. de Lima has filed a resolution seeking to look into local governments’ compliance to proper trash management amid increasing medical waste due to the coronavirus pandemic, and identify contingency measures that could be undertaken.

“The increased volume of healthcare wastes has imposed new burdens on both the national and local governments, and the absence of strong solid waste management during the pandemic might contribute to the rapid and more widespread transmission of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) in the country,” she said in a statement on Sunday.

She noted that the “full cooperation and strong political commitment” of local government units “are critical ingredients of an efficient and effective implementation” the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 or Republic Act No. 9003.

Under the law, local governments are the lead implementers of solid waste management with segregation and collection to be conducted at the barangay level.

With the surge of COVID-19 cases, Ms. De Lima said the amount of COVID-19-related medical wastes “have grown exponentially,” citing information from Environment Undersecretary Analiza R. Teh and a study published on open access journal Heliyon.

Ms. De Lima also said that the Department of Health’s revised Health Care Waste Management Manual seems inadequate in terms of providing “remedial measures or interim guidelines to ensure the proper disposal and storage of COVID-19-related health care wastes.” — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan

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