By: Gail T. Momblan
FIFTEEN towns in Iloilo province have achieved zero open defecation (ZOD) status, the Provincial Health Office (PHO) said.
The ZOD status means that barangays in these municipalities have access to safe toilets and have abandoned the practice of open defecation.
As of Dec 30, 2018, the following municipalities have been declared ZOD by the PHO:
- Banate (18 out of 18 barangays)
- Barotac Viejo (26/26)
- Batad (24/24)
- Bingawan (14/14)
- Igbaras (46/46)
- Janiuay (60/60)
- Lemery (31/31)
- Miag-ao (119/119)
- Mina (22/22)
- New Lucena (21/21)
- Oton (37/37)
- Passi City (51/51)
- San Miguel (24/24)
- San Rafael (9/9)
- San Joaquin (85/85)
The towns of Dingle, Tigbauan, and Cabatuan will soon follow suit.
Provincial Health Office chief Dr. Patricia Grace Trabado said they continue their campaign to achieve the ZOD status in the entire province.
Sige ta gid nga campaign because isa na siya ka nami nga approach para nga ma-dispose properly ang human waste, urine kag stool, she said.
Vectors such as animals and insects can spread bacteria from human wastes.
Open defecation, therefore, could expose people to diarrhea, cholera and other waterborne diseases, intestinal worm infections, and malnutrition and stunting of children.
Trabado said the government is ready to provide assistance to people but it is also every households responsibility to take care of themselves and the environment.
May balay ka gani wala ka basin, dapat may basin ka gid indi nga panghaboy lang kon diin, she said.
Trabado hopes that all local government units in the Iloilo province could achieve the ZOD status by 2020.