MORE than 50,000 households in the Cordillera Administrative Region still do not have toilets, according to the Department of Health (DOH).
Amelita Pangilinan, DOH assistant regional director, said only 85 percent of the 338,817 households in the region have toilets. Some 54,000 households, or 15 percent, do not have toilets.
“The number one problem in Cordillera is lack of basic sanitation facilities and the worst is there is actual comfort rooms but without septic tanks,“ Pangilinan said.
Pangilinan said Kalinga has the lowest number of households with toilets at 65 percent of the total while Baguio City has the highest at 99 percent.
“We have the roadmap presented by 2022 is zero open defecation in all the 1,176 barangays of Cordillera will be Zero Open Defecation (ZOD),” she said, adding the battle to sanitize and solve water problems and to attain 100 percent toilet coverage through technical assistance to encourage municipalities.
DOH-CAR is enjoining municipalities to create their respective municipal ZOD verification and certification team.
The ZOD program seeks to attain a 100 percent of all barangays in the country including the region to be declared ZOD status by 2022 by doing so, official verification and certification of ZOD status of the barangays is needed.
Health workers will form a technical working group to visit barangays and verify sanitation levels and give the ZOD status through monitoring.
The status can be revoked when the areas do not sustain the standards set.
Pangilinan said the remote barangays have the biggest problem of not having sanitary toilet.
The strategy eyed by the agency is to provide septic tanks, “It’s either we will provide septic tanks, we will shift our assistance it would not be toilet bowls rather it would be septic tanks.”