Press Release
October 14, 2013

Legarda Highlights Best Environmental Practices among Phl Hospitals

Senator Loren Legarda today highlighted the country's best environmental practices among hospitals as she expressed support to the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals (GGHH) Initiative promoted by Mr. Gary Cohen, the U.S. White House Champion of Change for Climate and Health.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, said that several hospitals in the country are undertaking safe and green practices that should be emulated by other hospitals and health care facilities.

The Senator discussed this in a meeting with Cohen, Co-Founder and President of Health Care Without Harm (HCWH), as they looked into possible areas of cooperation in promoting green and sustainable environmental practices among the country's hospitals through the GGHH network.

Legarda noted that, "The World Health Organization has discovered various health risks caused by unsafe disposal of health care waste. For instance, the improper and unsafe disposal of contaminated needles and syringes may lead to dangerous consequences because it can be reused or sold to be used again since these materials may be scavenged from waste areas and dumpsites."

In August of this year, HCWH-Asia together with the UNDP Global Environment Facility Project on Global Healthcare Waste launched the report "From the Backyard to the Frontline: Initiatives of Philippine Hospital Workers on Best Environmental Practices", which cited best practices in seven selected hospitals in the Philippines.

The hospitals included in the report are the following:

  • Maria Reyna-Xavier University Hospital in Cagayan de Oro City for their materials recovery and recycling, and other waste management system

  • General Santos Doctors Hospital for their safe practices to prevent radiation exposure

  • St. Paul Hospital in Tuguegarao City for the use of safer alternatives for hospital cleaning

  • Perpetual Succor Hospital in Cebu City for green practices, such as using a biodigester to convert waste into methane gas for kitchen and laundry use; installing solar panels for water heating; and painting walls green for cooling effect

  • Our Lady of Peace Hospital in Parañaque City and Philippine Heart Center for their wastewater treatment

  • San Lazaro Hospital for their mercury-free dental services

Furthermore, Legarda also expressed her support to HCWH's campaign on reducing hospital's carbon footprint.

"According to Mr. Cohen, hospitals use twice as much energy per square foot as a traditional office space. Health Care Without Harm can help us on how our health care facilities can actually contribute to reducing our carbon footprint, which is crucial in our fight to prevent further rise of the Earth's temperature," said Legarda.

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