DAVAO CITY, Philippines — A member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) in Davao City expressed the need for the passage of Zero Open Defecation Ordinance after authorities confirmed the high concentration of coliform bacteria in Davao River.
The proposal was raised by Councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte, chair of the Committee on Health at the SP.
Villafuerte said that the level of coliform bacteria at the Davao River was recorded at 900,000 most probable number (MPN) per 100 ml. as reported by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the region (EMB-DENR-XI).
Villafuerte’s move was also made amidst reports of the presence of poliovirus at the Davao River.
“The DENR-EMB revealed during last Friday’s inter-agency meeting with (the) City Health (Office) that the number of coliform bacteria in the mouth of Davao River is overwhelmingly high,” Villafuerte in her privilege speech on Tuesday’s regular session, October 1 said.
She pointed out that for a water sample to be considered safe for drinking, the number of coliform bacteria must be zero.
Under the proposed ordinance, the Sanitation Unit of the City Health Office (CHO) will be tasked to conduct inventory of households that do not have toilets with septic tanks.
The inventory will cover the city’s shorelines, the downtown area, and upland communities.
“It is high time we stop dumping human waste into the Davao River and its tributaries. In fact, we should altogether stop dumping human waste directly into the environment,” Villafuerte said.
She also mulled to introduce the Mandatory Immunization of Infants & Children Ordinance of Davao City to help the Health Sector to meet their goal of achieving 100% immunization coverage of children below 5 years old in the city.
Villafuerte said she is committed to help the Department of Health (DOH) together with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) for the conduct of mass immunization starting October 14 this year.
The mass immunization will benefit approximately 180, 000 children below 5 years old in the city. (davaotoday.com)