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PIA Press Release

Davao Port X-ray machine is safe, assures DOH

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (26 February) -- Officials from the Department of Health's Bureau of Health Devices and Technology (BHDT) division led by Elizabeth Mendoza has bared that the X-ray scanning machine installed inside the Sasa Wharf has passed safety tests in reaction from complaints allegedly coming from residents and workers inside the port.

Mendoza was assigned by the DOH central office to conduct measurements to check on the complaint written by the Aquarius Container Yard addressed to Health secretary Esperanza Cabral.

The complaint contained the opposition of the residents on the plan of setting up another scanner inside the port.

Mendoza, with her team, then conducted a radiation survey and found that the scanner does not pose harm to the residents given the distance of the machine to the area where the residents are supposedly located.

Chief of X-Ray Inspection Project Atty. Lourdes Mangaoang also stressed in a press conference held at the Philippine Information Agency yesterday (February 25) that the scanner in the Sasa wharf is covered by a Permit to Operate from the BHDT.

The permit was issued last December 29, 2009 after the x-ray site complied with all the requirements needed for the permit issuance.

Mangaoang also questioned the legality of the so-called residents inside the port.

"They don't have any legal basis that they are legal residents. They are actually squatters because the port would not have been allowed to accept international vessels if residents are allowed to locate inside the area," she said.

The BOC official suspects a politician or a big personality who has vested interest on the operation of the x-ray scanners in Davao City.

The BOC project has already deployed a total 30 machines across the country but it was only in Davao that the scanners have been opposed.

Mangaoang said that there are more than 300 NUCHTECH THSCAN s-ray scanners in more than 60 countries including United States where healthy safety standards are higher than those in the Philippines.

She said the BOC is now providing the country with a service that has long been requested in the past years. The scanners have made the job of the BOC much easier, faster, and most efficient. Instead of spending one day for the manual inspection of containers, the x-ray scanning would only take 10 minutes without having to unload the content of the container. (PIA XI) [top]

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