By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senator Cynthia Villar cited the importance of personal hygiene and sanitation in improving self-sufficiency and earning opportunities of individuals and communities.
“One’s capacity to earn is enhanced when care and attention are given to his personal hygiene. Employees who come to work fresh and clean are usually healthier and perform their jobs more efficiently as compared to those who go to work looking and smelling grumpy,” Villar said as she led distribution of toilet bowls to households in Gasangan, Baseco in Tondo, Manila recently.
The chairperson of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources said that personal hygiene should start at home while making sure that homes and communities have proper sanitation facilities is a “joint responsibility of families, communities and the government.”
“The government has the duty to ensure the health of its people. The most basic way to guarantee this is through the provision of sanitation facilities such as septic tanks, especially in overcrowded communities,” she said.
Villar, in initiating the construction of two communal septic tanks and toilet bowls in Gasangan, Baseco, said she wanted to address the problem of poor sanitation in the area, made worse by the practice of open defecation due to the lack of toilet facilities.
The project was carried out in coordination with the Departments of Health (DOH), Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
Other partner agencies include the BFAR, BSWM, MMDA, Maynilad, Kabalikat sa Kaunlaran ng Baseco and the barangay officials of Gasangan.
The budget for the project was provided by the DOH, while the manpower came from the DSWD, which tapped beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in Baseco.