City aims for zero open defecation

BAGUIO CITY – The City Government will aim for a 100 percent zero open defecation (ZOD) in all of the 128 barangays in line with the National Sustainable Sanitation Plan (NSSP) of the Dept. of Health.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan last week created a verification and certification team that will undertake inspections, declare the ZOD status and monitor the barangays' compliance with the program.

In Administrative Order No. 126, the mayor tasked City Health Officer Dr. Rowena Galpo to lead the team with the DOH representative, City Environment and Parks Management officer and representatives of the Alay sa Kalinisan Foundation Inc., Philippine Association of Medical Technologies Baguio Chapter and Philippine Society of Sanitary Engineers Cordillera chapter as members.

"The ZODP is presently being promoted y the DOH and other partner agencies in the country as one of the major strategies for scaling up sanitation program development," the mayor noted.

In the NSSP, the DOH targets that within 2016, 60 percent of the barangays nationwide must be declared ZOD compliant and 100 percent by year 2022.

The mayor said that as of the moment, no barangay in the city has been declared of having ZOD status even if numerous barangays have claimed to be such.

He said the creation of the verification and certification team will address this concern as though the team, the City will know the actual situation in the barangays and lead to institution of needed measures and awarding of recognition to communities that achieved the status.

The team will be tasked to visit the barangays to verify their ZOD status using the ZOD form and undertake sampling of at least ten percent of the total households.

The team will have the authority to declare the Barangay ZOD status and provide certification and reward.

The results will be reported to the DOH regional office and eventually to the DOH Environmental Related Disease Division for recording and monitoring purposes, program planning and reward grant.

The group will also monitor the status of the barangay and their improvement every three months through the sanitary inspectors and revoke the status of those that will fail to sustain.

It will also ensure that the ZOD barangays will level up to the next ladder leading to total sanitation and as possible nominee to the DOH National Search for Barangays with Best Sanitation Practices. – Aileen P. Refuerzo

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