Zeis/Excel Care among two health labs registered with DENR

Records of the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional office show that the embattled Zeis Polyclinic & Diagnostic Services, Inc. is one of only two health center laboratories registered with EMB as hazardous waste generator.

A perusal of the list furnished to the Tribune by EMB Regional Director Engr. Maria Socorro Abu indicated that the other laboratory is D.A. Balmadrid Medical-Surgical and Diagnostic Services of San Pablo, Virac.

It may be recalled that Zeis, with original address at San Isidro Village, has now transferred to San Roque and was supposed to be renamed Excel Care Diagnostic and Wellness Care, Inc., the name it carries on its signboard.

On the other hand, D.A. Balmadrid transferred to its new address at San Isidro Village, just before the controversy erupted over the medical waste dumped on the shore of barangay Concepcion that was later traced to Zeis/Excel Care.

The EMB list of hazardous waste generators which were issued DENR IDs include seven gasoline refilling stations, Eastern Bicol Medical Center and the six district hospitals, Immaculate Heart of Mary Hospital, two funeral parlors (Johnny’s Casket and Funeraria Bugtong), eight commercial buildings, three hotels (Virac Hometel, RHAJ Executive Inn and Kemji Hotel), Catanduanes State University, Virac Town Center and ACC Hypermart, the Jollibee fast-food branch, eight power plants, Globe Telecoms’ pipeline/cable, a rice mill in Virac, Bato Aggregates Construction and Supply, Twin Rock beach resort, and the Manila Hemp Trading Corp. warehouse in San Andres.

The list furnished by EMB-5, however, did not include establishments issued with DENR IDs after February 2020.

Under the law, an establishment registered as hazardous waste generator is supposed to comply with all the requirements of Republic Act 6969 (Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990), its Implementing Rules and Regulations, and the Procedural Manual for Hazardous Wastes Management as well as other applicable environmental policies and procedures.

The establishment is likewise mandated to submit a duly-notarized self-monitoring report indicating the type and volume of hazardous waste it generates for every quarter.

The Pollution Control Officer overseeing the waste management is also obligated to renew the accreditation one (1) month prior to expiration.

With regards to the Tribune’s request for its report on the Excel Care incident, the EMB said it cannot grant the request as the information falls in the list of exceptions under the DENR Freedom of Information Manual.

Disclosure of confidential source, investigation proceeding, and records of assigned hearing officers, investigators, and deputized inspectors, shall be made when the premature disclosure thereof may result to endangering the life, safety and security of any individual, and pre-empt the resolution of the case, the agency stated.

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