On November 26, 2021, the last Friday of the National Environmental Awareness Month, the Faculty of Pharmacy held a webinar entitled “The Trash Talk: Usapang Waste Disposal” as a part of its Recipio the Medication Take-back Program via Zoom.
Asst. Prof. Ruel Valerio R. de Grano, PhD, faculty member of the Department of Biochemistry, talked about the faith and science of caring for our planet, our common home, and his reflections on Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si. For de Grano, the tool which humans can use to rectify their misuse and abuse. “We always have to go back to what is basic: to choose what is through good, and through good and beautiful,” De Grano said. “Human beings, while capable of the worst, we are also capable of rising above ourselves, choosing again what is good and making a new start despite the mental and social conditioning. What we have to do is to educate ourselves, and to educate (others) and […] let Science again be our teacher to help rekindle our covenant with the environment. ” he added.
UST Pollution Control Officer of the Facilities Management Office Engr. John Lester P. Rosal talked about the proper handling, storage, management, and disposal of chemical and hazardous waste in the campus, as well as the University’s compliance to the Department of Environment and National Resources. “The important thing is aware tayo, kumbaga may contribution tayo para maging safe ang environment natin,” he said.
Meanwhile, Asst. Prof Gina C. Castro, RPH, PhD, lectured on the environmental stewardship from the pharmacist’s perspective. For Castro, given the risk that is associated with the poor disposal of medications, the response of the pharmacists was “ecopharmacovigilance”, which means science and activities related to detecting, evaluating, understanding and preventing adverse effects of pharmaceutical products in the environment.
Capping her talk, Castro gave three points in line with the pharmacists’ role in taking care of the environment, namely: 1) Optimize drug use and inventory/stocking practices; 2) Information campaign on proper medication disposal—why and how; and lastly, 3) Medication take-back initiatives.
Seeing the significance of rallying the whole FOP toward environmental awareness, health promotion, and social responsibility, November 26, 2021 was also declared as the “Recipio Advocacy Day” of the Faculty of Pharmacy. The Pharmacy, Medical Technology, and Biochemistry Departments will come together to tackle environmental issues brought by chemical and hazardous wastes.
Moreover, The Trash Talk: Usapang Waste Disposal brings Pope Francis’ encyclical letter Laudato Si to the center stage in an effort to inspire the Faculty of Pharmacy toward actively “caring for our common home”.
Revisit the webinar here.