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PIA Press Release

Ex-health secretary lauds Dagupan City on sustainable sanitation initiatives

Dagupan City (2 February) -- Former health secretary Dr. Jaime Galvez-Tan lauded the over-all efforts of Dagupan City in improving the environment, health and quality of life of its people, particularly those in low income households.

during the Internal Mid-Year Review of the Sustainable Sanitation in East Asia (SuSEA) program last January 30 at the Museo ng Dagupan, Galvez-Tan, also head of the technical assistance management services of Coffey International Development, said Dagupan was the most successful among five pilot communities for sustainable sanitation projects across the country.

memorandum of agreement was signed last September 2007 for the implementation of the sustainable sanitation program supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), Water and Sanitation Philippines (WSP)-World Bank(WB), Department of Health, and Coffey International Development.

"You are deserving of our appreciation and admiration," he said as he recognized the facilitating roles played by the executive and legislative departments, the technical working group and its partnership with the Lyceum Northwestern University.

Since its inception in 2007, the SuSEA initiative has already completed baseline studies and activities, household surveys, orientation workshops and capability building and training for various stakeholders.

Dr. Leo Carbonnel, focal head of the program, said Dagupan has already completed its sustainable sanitation plan, sanitation communication plan, braangay sanitation plans of the barangays and various information and education materials for sanitation awareness.

Through the collaborative efforts of the Sangguniang Panglunsod, Carbonell said Dagupan achieved its biggest headway with the enactment of the city's first local health and sanitation code last year, including a provision on septage management policy.

The SuSEA program aims to reduce the incidence of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) and soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH) by 50% by the end of 2010.

"This is a triumph of partnerships," Mayor Alipio Fernandez said as he acknowledged the contributions of the city's health functionaries, volunteer workers and civic groups in the implementation of the various project components of the program.

Meanwhile, city administrator Alvin Fernandez said the city will construct more "instant CR's" to provide both residents and visitors alike, clean and accessible public sanitary restrooms. (PIA Pangasinan / CIO) [top]

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