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DOH-Cordillera nears goal to wipe out ‘anywhere toilets’


The Department of Health in the Cordillera Administrative Region exceeded its target to have 53 percent of households in the region provided with safely managed toilets.

In a media forum on Friday (Oct. 13), Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) senior health officer Jethro Simeon said 91.75 percent of the projected 452,303 households in the region have safely managed toilets based on their 2022 sanitation survey.

He explained that safe toilets are defined as not just having a toilet, but also provided with water and with septic tank.

He said the latest data reflect that the toilets are on a per household basis.

DOH has allocated PHP5 million for its zero open defecation target to address what is locally known as hectare or anywhere comfort rooms.

Simeon said the amount is for the construction of common septic tanks for adjacent residential areas in far-flung communities.

During the same briefing, Medical Officer IV Dr. Jennifer Joyce Pira said the DOH used to have a toilet bowl distribution project.

'It is among the devolved commodities which local government units must now provide for the people. However, the goal for zero open defecation practice remains a goal of the department that is why we continue to partner with the local government units,' she said.

She added that environment and sanitation affect health, thus 'it remains to be our program.'

Earlier, Oliver Dickly, village chief of Barangay Fernando Canao in Lubuagan, Kalinga said there are still residents who have the 'hectare CR' but the program to end the practice is a continuing effort.

Source: Philippines News agency