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CHO pushes for zero open defecation in Davao City

THE CITY Health Office (CHO) is dedicated to making Davao City a certified zero open defecation (ZOD) zone. 

In a radio interview, Luzviminda Paig, CHO Environment and Sanitation Division head, said ZOD in simpler terms, means no human excrement will be seen in open spaces. 

“Wala nay hugaw sa tawo na makita sa atong open spaces. Kinihanglan tanan naa na jud toilet (People should never see human excreta in open spaces. Everyone needs to have access to a toilet),” Paig said. 

The Department of Health XI has given the city a target of until Jan. 21 to be ZOD-certified. That’s why they have to maximize their efforts to reach out to all barangays to reach their goal.

As of the third week of January, 8 in 10 of the 182 barangays already completed all the required documents for verification. However, she professed difficulty about following-up with coastal communities, particularly Barangay 23-C.

“Naa man silay communal toilets pero nadaot tungod sa pag-construct sa coastal road. Medyo okay naman nuon karon. Pero medyo maglisod mi og reach out nila when it comes to sanitation (Their communal toilets were damaged by the coastal road but it’s already fixed. However, we find it difficult to reach out to them when it comes to sanitation),” Paig said. 

She said the cooperation of Davaoeños is crucial for the city to become ZOD-certified. 

“We are asking for support from all barangay captains of the 182 barangays in Davao City to support this program so we can achieve the goal of universal access to safe and sanitary facilities in 2028. Tanan naa na jud kasilyas and dili na malibang maski asa (Everyone should have a toilet so they don’t defecate anywhere),” she said. 

Paig said the city government committed to establishing decent toilets for Davaoeños to prevent contamination, particularly of the waterways. 

The Department of Health (DOH) XI issued the Administrative Order 2010-0021 titled Sustainable Sanitation as a National Policy, with the ultimate goal of “achieving zero open defecation status and attaining universal access to safe and adequate sanitary facilities by 2028.”

Paig said despite the policy, “the lack of sanitation remains a public health problem.” She added that an ideal sanitary facility should have “one house, one toilet” and could be a shared facility. 



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