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2 Cotabato's poor villages with best sanitation practices compete in nationwide search

HEALTH • 18:08 PM Fri Aug 28, 2015
Malu C. Manar

KIDAPAWAN CITY -Two hinterland towns in North Cotabato, both beneficiaries of a globally-funded water, sanitation, and hygiene project, are competing in a nationwide search for barangays with the best sanitation practices. Mayor Rene Rubino of the municipality of Arakan has signed an executive order declaratingthat they are joining this year’s National Search for Barangays with the Best Sanitation Practices (NSBBSP) of the Department of Health (DoH). Rubino has chosen Barangay Datu Mantangkil to compete for NSBBSP under Category-One or barangays with 100 to 250 households. Barangay Datu Mantangkil, located northeast of North Cotabato, is inhabited, primarily, by the indigenous peoples. The municipality of President Roxas, also a hinterland town located northeast of North Cotabato, is also joining the annual search under Category Two or barangays with 250 to 500 households. The local government of President Roxas has chosen Barangay Camasi. These barangays were declared Zero Open Defecation (ZOD) through help from their LGUs and ACF International, a global humanitarian organization. A village is declared open defecation-free when all of their households have sanitary toilets and proper waste disposal system. The Chief Executives and their Rural Health Units (RHUs) of the participating LGUs saw the unity, capacity, and the commitment of these barangays to maintain health and sanitation. The DoH said the search is intended to encourage all LGUs to showcase their best practices on sanitation, specifically on water supply, sanitary toilet facilities, and other local initiatives related to sanitation. The criteria also include wastewater management, solid waste management, clean and green, legislative support, and community participation. The DoH said it is committed to continue the annual competition, which they believed has already gained positive outcome and commendations from different sectors of the community. Many said that with the implementation of the activity, diarrhea and other water-borne diseases, especially in remotest villages, had been prevented.

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