07, 2013

NR # 3249B

Lawmakers push for the creation of National Sanitation Coordinating Council
Lawmakers are seeking the creation of government body to address the problem on sanitation and waste disposal. Reps. Christopher Co and Rodel Batocabe (Party-list, Ako-Bicol) filed House Bill 331 to establish a national sanitation coordinating council that shall provide a nationwide program and management of sustainable sanitation. “The government is mandated to protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them and is obliged to protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature,” Co said. Co cited a resolution of the UN General Assembly calling on states and international organizations to provide financial resources, build capacity and transfer technology, particularly to developing countries in scaling up efforts to provide safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation for all. “The Philippines recognizes the United Nations declaration that sanitation is a fundamental human right and is essential to public health and human development,” Co said. Co said a significant percent of the population still practices open defecation and negligent waste disposal. “A substantial percent of reported diseases and deaths of the Filipino population is attributed to water pollution, sanitation conditions, and hygiene practices,” Co said. The National Sanitation Coordinating Council shall be composed of the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Public Works and Highways (DPWH), National Housing Agency, Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), National Water Resources Board (NWRB) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The council shall formulate a national plan, framework, and strategies for a sustainable sanitation; coordinate and integrate the activities and functions of the various government agencies, private institutions, and civic organizations. The organization for coordination of operations in all local political and administrative subdivisions are the Metropolitan Manila Sanitation Councils headed by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman, with all Metro Manila Mayors as its members. The provincial Sanitation Coordinating Councils shall be composed of the Provincial Governor as Chairman; the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer as the ViceChairman and Action Officer; the Provincial Health Officer; the Provincial Engineer; and the Provincial Planning and Development Officer. (30) jc

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