Sen. Cynthia Villar has underscored the value of personal hygiene and sanitation to improve self-sufficiency and the earning opportunities of individuals and communities.
‘One’s capacity to earn is enhanced when care and attention are given to his personal hygiene. Employees who come to work fresh and clean are usually healthier and perform their jobs more efficiently as compared to those who go to work looking and smelling grumpy,‘ said Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources.
She said personal hygiene starts at home, and making sure that homes and communities have proper sanitation facilities is the joint responsibility of families, communities and the government.
“The government has the duty to ensure the health of its people. The most basic way to guarantee this is through the provision of sanitation facilities such as septic tanks, especially in overcrowded communities,” said Villar, who on Thursday led other government leaders and environment advocates in the distribution of toilet bowls to households in Gasangan, Baseco in Tondo.
Villar has so far funded the construction of two septic tanks in the populous community. The toilet bowls were the third tranche to be distributed by the senator in the area.
Villar spearheaded the government initiative to construct communal septic tanks and toilet bowls in Gasangan, Barangay 649 in Baseco to address the problem of poor sanitation in the area, made worse by the practice of open defecation due to the lack of toilet facilities.
The project was carried out in partnership with the Departments of Health (DOH), Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Environment and Natural Resources, and Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
Other partner agencies include the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Bureau of Soils and Water Management, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Maynilad Water Services Inc., Kabalikat sa Kaunlaran ng Baseco and the barangay officials of Gasangan.
The budget for the initiative was provided by the DOH, while the manpower came from the DSWD, which tapped beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in Baseco for the construction of the toilets and communal septic tanks, which were shouldered by Villar.
On the same day, Villar joined the inauguration of a 400-meter road also in Gasangan, the construction of which was intended to improve the surroundings of the barangay. The road construction is funded and implemented by DPWH.
Afterwards, clean-up of a nearby mangrove area was conducted to ensure the continuous flow of water in the vicinity to prevent the onset of water-borne diseases.
Villar has adopted an area in Baseco where she has been regularly planting mangrove trees and conducting clean-up activities to turn the compound into a model site for urban agriculture and aquaculture, to help augment the income of residents.#