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Sanitation Code up for implementation

ILOILO, April 28 -– Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. approved on Tuesday the Iloilo Sanitation Code (ISC), the first in Western Visayas.

Provincial Ordinance No. 2015-120, or the Sanitation Code of the Province of Iloilo, was sponsored by Board Member Carmen Rita Bautista and co-sponsored by Board Member June Mondejar. It was signed into law by the governor on Tuesday and will soon be enforced in 43 local government units here.

The ordinance codified the relevant national laws on sanitation to protect and promote, among others, the people’s right to health.

For the safety of drinking water, for instance, the ordinance provides that the standards, bacteriological and chemical examination and evaluation of results must conform to the criteria set by the Philippine National Standards for Drinking Water.

It also mandates that water sources or sites (e.g. private artesian and drilled wells) for distribution must be approved by the Department of Health (DOH) before their construction and operation.

The ordinance further requires that periodic on-the-spot inspections of the facilities of water suppliers and haulers will be made and these establishments, including those serving and processing food, must regularly submit water samples to laboratories duly accredited by DOH.

In order to protect drinking water from contamination, the ordinance specifies the following restrictions:

*Washing clothes or bathing within 15-meter radius from any well and other source of drinking water is prohibited.

*No artesian well, deep or shallow, shall be constructed within 15 meters from any source of pollution.

*No septic tank shall be placed or constructed within 25 meters from any well, spring, cistern or other sources of drinking water, or not less than 1.5 meters from any water service lines, or not less than 3 meters away from a water main.

*No radioactive sources or materials shall be stored within the radius of 25 meters from any well or source of drinking water, unless the radioactive source or material is enclosed by proper shielding.

*No person in-charge in the management of a public water supply system shall permit any physical connection between its distribution system and that of any other water system, unless the latter is regularly examined as to its quality by those in-charge of the public supply to which the connection is made and is found to be potable.

*The installation of booster pumps direct from the water distribution line of a water supply system shall be prohibited.

Moreover, the ordinance provides that sanitary permit from Municipal/City Health Office is mandatory to any person, entity, commercial, industrial, institutional and recreational establishments and health certificate for their personnel.

To determine the administrative remedies in the enforcement of this Code, a Provincial Sanitation Board will be established wherein the governor will act as a chairman.

Any person who violates any provision of the Code shall, upon conviction, be penalized with a fine not less than Php 2,000 nor more than Php 5,000 or imprisonment from six months up to one year, or suffer both.

The administrative fines, on the other hand, will be Php 1,000 for the first offense, Php 2,000 for the second offense, Php 3,000 for the third offense and Php 5,000 for the fourth and succeeding offenses.

The Code will take effect 30 days from its publication and dissemination through posting on bulletin boards of all LGUs in Iloilo. (PNA)

RMA/AJP/JANEPOMOCENO/VLO

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