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PIA Press Release

Sanitation now DOH's top priority

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (17 February) -- Local government units are now urged to prioritize sanitary toilet projects over water programs.

This was the order made by the Department of Health (DOH) to balance the both water and sanitation as part of the Millennium Development Goals set to be reached by 2015.

DOH Assistant Secretary for Mindanao Dr. Paulyn Rosell-Ubial told the media in yesterday's Kapihan sa Dabaw, saying that very little is yet invested for the sanitation of every individual household.

It was shown that 90 percent of the population now has access to clean and potable water, while only 70 percent of the population has clean sanitary toilets at home.

DOH, through the Asian Development Bank (ADB) now offers LGUs a loan facility open for project proposals on sanitation.

ADB has allocated P1.2 billion for local governments which can submit sound project proposals which are aimed to improve sanitation in the community.

In the previous years, most of the projects pushed by the DOH are water-related which boosted the figures of families having access to clean potable water.

However, access to clean water and sanitation as part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) could not fully be reached if one is left behind.

"There must be balance between the two because all the investments for clean water will just be wasted if we do not have good sanitation practices." said Ubial.

This has pushed the DOH to partner with local water districts and come up with safe water supply projects.

Some of the projects pushed to be implemented by local water districts are sewerage and septage projects.

Access to clean water and sanitation is just one of the four health-related goals in the MDG. Other goals include the reduction of child mortality, maternal mortality, infectious diseases, and the promotion for sustainable environment. (PIA XI) [top]

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