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Proper Disposal of Face Masks and Face Shields Takes Effect in Valenzuela City
Photo by: Rodrigo Carganilla de Guzman
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With wearing of face masks and face shields becoming a way of life as a protection against COVID-19, the so-called “coronavirus waste” is seen rising -- and improper disposal of the infectious yet polluting waste does not only degrade the environment, but also endangers the  future of public health as well.  

The alarming increase in the improper disposal of these special wastes urged the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to issue an advisory to local government units to ensure the compliance of their constituents in the proper segregation, handling, and disposal of wastes following the provisions of RA No. 9003 and RA No. 6969 otherwise known as “Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act”.

To strengthen the implementation of the advisory in the local level, the Valenzuela City Council passed Ordinance No. 769, Series of 2020, or the “Face Mask and Face Shield Disposal Ordinance of Valenzuela City” last August 17, 2020 during the council’s 50th Regular Session.

Under the ordinance, used face masks and face shields must be disposed of by putting them in a color yellow garbage bag or any color in the absence of a yellow bag that is labeled “infectious waste” after disinfection.

Cutting face masks and face shields in half before its disposal is also strongly encouraged to avoid re-use, as discarded face masks and face shields are believed to have a high possibility to carry infectious particles that may cross-contaminate the surfaces and users who have been identified as Persons under Investigation (PUIs) or Persons under Monitoring (PUMs).

Furthermore, households whose members are identified PUIs or PUMs should take extra precaution in handling their special wastes by initially disinfecting it with a chlorine-based solution before collection to prevent any further spread of the COVID-19 virus in the community.

Any person who throws used face masks and face shields in canals, streams, rivers and other bodies of water or leaves the waste in places such as streets that may be blown away or scattered will be charged with an administrative penalty.

Failure to comply with the ordinance will be charged by administrative penalty of Php 1,000 or 24 hours community service on the First Offense, Php 3,000 or 48 hours of community service for the Second Offense, and Php 5,000 or 72 hours community service for the Third Offense.

The City Health Office, Sanitation Office and the Task Force Disiplina will take the lead in the implementation of the ordinance and will be assisted by the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO).

Now that wearing of face masks and face shields are mandated in establishments, public transportation and workplaces in Valenzuela City, Mayor REX Gatchalian encourages Valenzuelanos to always observe discipline in the City as it lives up to the motto “Valenzuela, May Disiplina” in every household by following safety precautions and rules of ordinances passed in the City.  

For COVID-19 related concerns and emergencies, contact our CESU 24/7 hotline at 137-160.

2020-09-07 | By: Jennyvie Leonardo & Angelica Porciuncula / Public Information Office

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