Press Release
May 23, 2017

Villar welcomes signing of MOA addressing open defecation in Baseco

Sen. Cynthia Villar welcomed the signing of a memorandum of agreement of government and private organizations to provide Baseco, Manila residents with a program that will address open defecation in the area.

The project called "Zero Open Defecation for Baseco Compound," involves the construction of a three-chambered septic tank with individual toilet slabs for households of Baseco Compound, Barangay 649, Port Area, Manila.

Villar witnessed the signing of the agreement by officials representing the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), City of Manila, and Maynilad.

"Through this program, we will be able to implement a set of actions that will help improve sanitary conditions affecting the well-being of Baseco residents. We are very glad to have a multi-sectoral collaboration to address sanitation problems besetting Baseco for years," Villar said.

Villar has raised the issue of poor sanitary conditions in Baseco after witnessing first hand the problems of poor waste management and unsanitary conditions in the area and has called on the DOH and the DSWD to address these problems.

As one of the densely populated barangays in Manila, Barangay 649 has a total population of 42,908. Of the 7,801 households, 80% have no access to a sanitary toilet facility. From 2013 to 2015, gastroenteritis was listed as one of the top five leading causes of morbidity in the area. To directly address these problems, the area was chosen to be one of the recipients of the Environmental and Sanitation Project of provision of Communal Public Toilets.

Under the agreement, DOH-National Capital Region Office (DOH-NCRO) is the overall lead agency in the construction of the communal septic tank with individual toilet slabs, specifications and schedules, selection of beneficiaries and project maintenance.

DOH-NCRO also allocates P1,000,000 from its 2016 Continuing Appropriations Budget and ensure the procurement of necessary materials.

The responsbilities of Manila City under the program is to provide all legal and technical assistance, secure all required permits and clearances, and assist in the selection of recipient beneficiaries and in the disposition of toilet bowls. The city is also assigend to cause the proper use and maintenance of the projects through regular inspection, pumping and ensuring the practice of water conservation among its constituents.

For its part, DSWD- National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR) is the lead agency in the recruitment, screening and selection of Pantawid Pamilya partner beneficiaries for cash-for-work who will serve as the primary workforce of the project.

DSWD-NCR will coordinate with DOH - NCRO and provide details of the participants such as the Master list of Pantawid Pamilya partner beneficiaries for cash-for-work who will participate in the construction and implementation of the project.

DSWD- NCR will also be in charge for the payment of the Cash-for-Work Program under the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer for Homeless Street Families which covers 60 calendar days. Maynilad's responsibilities under the agreement includes the conduct of the periodic desludging of the communal septic tanks.

Aside from Villar, the signing ceremonies was attended by Vincent Andrew Leyson, Regional Director, DSWD-NCR; Dr. Ariel Valencia, Regional Director, DOH-NCRO, Kagawad Rey Campañera, Bgy. 649, Emiliana Casbadillo, OIC, Fisheries and Production Division, Bureau of Fisheries and aquatic Resources; Sonia Salguero, Director III, Bureau of Soils and Water Management, Jorjie Tañalete, president, Kabalikat; Teresita Sicat and Pepe Matutina of Unilever.

Villar, as director of the Villar Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance (Villar SIPAG), adopted Bgy 649 in Baseco where she planted mangrove trees and held regular clean up activities. She also partnered with organizations to conduct free training on urban gardening for the residents.

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