Safety of Drinking Water Sold in Panabo Questioned

Jun. 17, 2006

PANABO CITY— Is this citys drinking water, especially those sold by water retailers, safe?

Provincial health officer Dr. Agapito Hornido raised this question this week as he disclosed that only six out of 16 establishments that sell water in the city passed the bacteriological water analysis done early this year.

Hornido said water peddlers or retailers of Dumoy water here did not voluntarily submit their products for analysis. Only hospitals and other big establishments, including certain pumping stations of Panabo City Water District, did.

He raised concern over the safety of the water being retailed here because those operating water delivery services usually get their business permits from Davao City but are doing their businesses outside the permits jurisdiction.

He wanted to make sure whether these water retailers had met the standards of dispensing drinking water. Lets make sure that they are selling certified potable water, that their containers have been inspected and guaranteed clean and sanitized, he pointed out.

Dr. Emelda Bendijo, Panabo City health officer, admitted that her office had some shortcomings in monitoring the safety of drinking water in the city, saying there is not enough personnel to do such work.

With an area of 250,000 population, dili tanan makuhaan ug water sample because we lack manpower. So we resort to hiring a voluntary sanitary inspector, she said.

But despite the services of a voluntary sanitary inspector, Hornido was uncertain about the drinking water in Panabo especially those coming from water peddlers, deep well and those coming from springs because no samples have been submitted for testing.

He pointed out that barangay sanitary inspectors were supposed to conduct regular monitoring and submit water samples for analysis.

Meanwhile, Bendijo bared that 76 water peddlers in Panabo City have been registered and have been issued business permits last year, but she hinted that guidelines and standards on water retailing were not strictly followed.

However, she promised to make sure that water retailers could show a certificate of water potability before they could get business permits.

Hornido has suggested that the City Health Office must help local water peddlers meet the standards of dispensing drinking water for household consumption to avoid water contamination and that water tank inspection and monitoring should be done regularly.

He also suggested that local government units adopt the Sanitary Code of the Philippines especially those provisions regarding management of water sources. (Philippine Information Agency)

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