Press Release
March 14, 2017

Villar leads groundbreaking ceremony for new toilets in Baseco

Sen. Cynthia Villar led the groundbreaking of the communal septic tank that will signal the start of construction of 5,000 toilet bowls for Baseco Compound residents in Manila.

Initially, 100 toilet bowls will be constructed in Gasangan Street, Bgy. 649, near the mangrove area to prevent open defecation in Manila Bay.

"With the construction of toilets in Baseco, we will now be able to address the problem of poor sanitation and the consequent spread of diseases among the residents, especially the children," Villar said.

Villar, chair of the Committee on Agriculture and Food and the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, said four government agencies, namely DOH, DSWD, DENR, and the Department of Agriculture, came together to address the problem of poor sanitation and to improve livelihood opportunities for Baseco residents.

The construction of toilets will entail the enlistment by DSWD of Baseco residents who are also beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) for the cash for work program. The construction is expected to last for 60 days where residents will be paid 75% of the minimum wage.

Earlier, Villar has called on the DSWD to check the living condition of CCT beneficiaries in Baseco and study how the program could stop open defecation, correct improper hygiene behaviors and to provide residents with clean and safe sanitation facilities such as toilets.

The lady senator has adopted an area in Baseco Compound, where she has been planting mangrove trees and conducting clean-up activities on a monthly basis. Recently, through Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance), she partnered with Macondray Plastics and SM Foundation to give a 12-week training course on urban gardening for residents.

She has also taken the initiative to pave the street and to build a communal toilet for the use of residents. She was also able to secure a commitment from authorities to regularly collect the garbage so that it will not accumulate in Manila Bay. In the future, she hopes to make this part of Baseco a thriving site for urban agriculture and aquaculture o help residents increase their income.

A clean up drive and mangrove-planting activity were also held during the groundbreaking ceremony and attended by Dr. Ariel Valencia, Regional Director, Department of Health (DOH); Dir. Vincent Leyson, Regional Director, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD); Dir. Sonia Salguero, OIC Director, Bureau of Solid Waste Management; Aida Esguerra, Chief, Conservation and Development Division, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-National Capital Region; and Emiliana Casbadillo, OIC, Fisheries and Production Division.

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