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The ENVIRONMENT

Let's take care of the environment, or it will fail us! 

Bill seeks to establish Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)

Butuan City and Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte 1st District Rep. Lawrence "Law" Fortun has filed a bill providing for the establishment of a Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in all coastal cities and municipalities in the Philippines.

MPAs are "areas of the sea established and set aside by law, administrative regulation or any other effective means to conserve and protect a part of or the entire enclosed environment, through the establishment of management guidelines."

MPAs also cover marine reserves, marine parks, and marine sanctuaries.

The MPAs is in support to the government's environment preservation and forest protection campaign. (Posted August 2, 2013)

INCINERATORS BACK?

IT appears that the Department of Health (DOH) is sponsoring the return of incinerators for medical waste! Incinerators, we understand, are outlawed by the Philippines' Clean Air Act.

Incinerators, either for general waste or for medical waste, do not solve waste problems, but rather complicate them. Incinerators produce harmful, toxic and carcinogenic fumes that are hazardous to anyone of us! The fumes do not disappear or dissolve in the atmosphere but they hover and go wherever the wind blows them. Hence, no amount of safeguard can stop them from affecting everyone!

The Health Without Harm-South East Asia has demanded the DOH to revise its forthcoming 3rd Edition Health Care Waste Management Manual "to encompass all aspects of healthcare delivery, including healthcare waste management."

In its position paper, the HCWH-SEA (Photo, right: Merci Ferrer, Executive Director of HCWH-SEA; Ruth Stringer, HCWH Global Projects coordinator)  expressed apprehension that the manual may be used as a "pretext for improper health care waste disposal, or for suppressing the specific mandates of international and local laws on healthcare waste management."

The Manual, according to HCWH-SEA, recommends "pyrolysis" an acceptable technology for treating healthcare waste.

The European Union has classified pyrolysis under those of incinerators, and has been identified producer of furans and dioxin, a known human carcinogen. Under the Philippine Clean Air Act, the technology is unlawful.

The HCWH-SEA has urged the DOH to exclude pyrolysis technology from its mannual.

It also said that "reduction" must be used rather than "recovery" on waste management. (Photo, left, Von Hernandez, Greenpeace-Southeast Asia and Ecowaste Coalition)

The Philippines' Ecological Solid Waste Management Act provides waste reduction, not waste recovery. The DOH intends to use the accumulation of waste from which to extract fuel or energy, but this contradicts the provision of the law!

Is there big business behind the restoration of incinerators? (Nardz Belen, posted August 30, 2012)

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