Economic growth will thrive and more livelihood opportunities will open up in clean and healthy communities, Senator Cynthia Villar said as she led the distribution of 5,000 toilet bowls in Baseco compound in Tondo, Manila.

“Personal hygiene is a key factor in making your homes a more conducive place to live in. It should be a primordial concern of all families, especially those living in crowded areas,” said Villar, who is the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources.

Personal hygiene should be a primordial concern of all families, especially those living in crowded areas.

The veteran legislator commended the participation of government agencies to construct a communal septic tank and toilet bowls for Baseco residents in the bid 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.

She partnered with the Departments of Health (DOH), Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Agriculture (DA), and Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for the construction of the 5,000 toilet bowls and the septic tank in Gasangan Street, Barangay 649 in Baseco.

Other participating agencies include the BFAR (Bureau of Fisheries and Aquiatic Resources), BSWM (Bureau of Soils and Water Management), MMDA (Metropolitan Manila Development Authority), Maynilad, Kabalikat sa Kaunlaran ng Baseco and the barangay officials of Gasangan.

The budget for the initiative was provided by DOH funds, 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. Villar shouldered the expenses for the construction of the communal septic tank.

The project, according to the seasoned lawmaker, would not only solve the problem of improper hygiene behaviors but at the same time improve livelihood openings and the earning capacities of Baseco residents.

“Being healthy has a trickle down effect on your financial conditions. When you are fit and strong, you will be able to work and bring home money and food to your family. But when you are sick and weak, you will be forced to stay home and you will miss out on a lot of opportunities,” the lady senator said.

After the turn-over of the toilets, Villar and her partner agencies proceeded to clean-up the nearby mangrove area, to ensure the continuous flow of water in the vicinity to prevent the onset of water-borne diseases.

She has adopted an area in the Baseco Compound, where she has been regularly planting mangrove trees and conducting clean-up activities on a monthly basis in her bid to turn the compound into a model site for urban agriculture and aquaculture to help residents increase their income.


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