Educating People About the Importance of Proper Sanitation

Rheena Paola Go-Penaranda, Laguna Water’s Used Water Operations Manager, discussing the company’s sanitation services—desludging, sewage treatment, and portable toilet solution.

Around 400 residents from low-income communities in Santa Rosa, Laguna attended Laguna Water’s Tamang Sanitasyon Equals Kalinisan, Kalusugan, at Kaunlaran ng Bayan (TSEK ng Bayan) held at Waltermart Balibago, Santa Rosa Laguna.

TSEK ng Bayan is Laguna Water’s advocacy campaign which aims to raise public’s awareness and knowledge on the need for proper sanitation. It is focused on the availability of toilet facilities and the need for wastewater treatment, to promote environmental sustainability and to ensure health and safety of the community. 

Helping Laguna Water emphasize the importance of sanitation were experts from UNICEF and GHD Philippines. Katrina Arianne Ebora, UNICEF’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Research and Advocacy Consultant, shared how open defecation pose serious threat to the health of children in the community. Cassiophiea Madid, GHD Philippines’ Senior Environment Scientist, talked about the hazardous effects of improper sanitation to the environment.

Recognizing the fact that due to financial constraints having toilet facilities at home remains to be a challenge to many Filipino families.  To address this concern, Laguna Water’s Used Water Operations Manager Rheena Paola Go-Penaranda introduced the company’s Portable Toilet Solution (PTS) project that will help low-income communities gain access to adequate sanitation.

Currently, Laguna Water is conducting a study and testing of two PTS designs from LIXIL Japan and Loowatt United Kingdom to determine an affordable technology and portable toilet design that is most suited for the targeted Filipino community recipients.

“Sa tulong ng PTS, hindi na kailangan ng mga anak ko na makigamit ng banyo ng kapitbahay. Madali siya gamitin at maayos, saka iba yung pakiramdam na may sarili kang banyo,” said Simplicio Octoso, respondent of PTS study in Sitio Putin Tulay, Bgy. Macabling, Santa Rosa, Laguna.

Recently, Laguna Water’s PTS received a PhP 30 million grant from Grand Challenges Canada to help the company implement the program and reach more families in need of adequate sanitation. It has also been recognized by World Bank Group and Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at the Wharton School as one of the innovative solutions for sustainable development in the 2017 Ideas for Action.

TSEK ng Bayan was launched in March 2017. To date, the program has been conducted in 10 cities and municipalities in the Laguna and has raised awareness of more than 3,000 people about sanitation and wastewater management.

Laguna Water is the largest water and wastewater service provider in the Province of Laguna. It is a product of a successful public-private partnership between the Provincial Government of Laguna and Manila Water Company Inc. (Manila Water), the Ayala-led water service provider in the East Zone of Metro Manila and a leader in the water industry in the Philippines, with presence in Vietnam, Myanmar and Indonesia.

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