by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Tuesday, March 12th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – Tainted water or anything that has been contaminated with bacteria and other harmful organisms must not be consumed by humans due to risks of contracting diseases, according to the Department of Health (DOH).
When in doubt if water is clean or when a water pipe leaks, DOH said, water must be boiled two to three minutes prior to consumption.
DOH also does not recommend drinking urine, rainwater or sea water as these may contain natural and chemical waste materials which can harm one’s health.
Water sourced from deep wells can only be consumed after boiling, or when the deep well was dug far from a residential area.
“It is safe when a community, our houses are from the sources of drinking water. Houses should also have septic tanks where human wastes should go. There shouldn’t be contamination from the source of the drinking water,” DOH Spokesperson Undersecretary Eric Domngo said.
He added that drinking contaminated water might cause a person to develop Hepatitis-A, Cholera, Diarrhea and Typhoid fever, which are among the water-borne diseases.
A person who seldom takes a bath or washes hands can also contract several diseases such as boils and measles.
“Hand washing with soap and water really prevents a lot of diseases and transmission of diseases like sore eyes, measles and even chicken pox. Hand washing plays a big role to prevent transmission of diseases, keep clean and sanitize like using alcohol,” Domingo said.
Thoroughly washing ingredients like meat, fish and vegetables before cooking is also essential to prevent food poisoning, he added.
When it comes to personal hygiene, Domingo said, enough water and detergent must also be used in washing clothes.
However, use of too much fabric softener must be avoided to prevent body odor or even dermatitis, especially if clothes are not rinsed properly.
The Health Department also advises the public to save and store clean water for drinking, bathing, and cleaning.
Domingo added that water secreted by plants, such as cactus, bamboo and banana should only be used for survival.
He added that water is also very important in conducting medical operations and dialysis, and in maintaining cleanliness in hospitals to avoid infectious diseases which may lead to death. – Robie de Guzman / Aiko Miguel
by Aileen Cerrudo | Posted on Saturday, May 18th, 2019
The Department of Finance (DOF) said there will be a funding gap of P62 billion for the recently passed Universal Health Care (UHC) if Congress will not increase sin taxes on tobacco and alcohol.
In a press briefing of the DOF and the Department of Health (DOH) on Friday (May 17), DOF Secretary Carlos ‘Sonny’ Dominguez III said there would be difficulty in implementing the UHC without new sources of revenue.
“If we do not establish new sources of revenue, we will not have enough funds to properly, fully implement Universal Health Care and ensure a better quality of life for all Filipinos,” he said.
He adds that if the increased sin taxes will be approved, the UHC can cover around 120 drugs to Filipinos.
Meanwhile, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said raising taxes will also reduce consumption leading to better health for Filipinos.
“Sin tax is first and foremost a health measure. When the prices of cigarettes and alcohol are higher, it is harder, especially for the youth to buy these very harmful products. We can only reduce consumption by making these “sin” products less affordable to consumers,” he said.
Both departments also envisioned the Philippines to be one of the healthiest in Asia by 2040. They propose to increase tobacco taxes by P60 per cigarette and P40 per liter of alcohol.
“With 9 days remaining in the 17th Congress, there is still time to collectively take action. We look forward to the support of our counterparts in the legislature, during this crunch time. This is the final round, tapusin na natin ang boksing, (Let’s finish the fight)” Duque added.
Senator Manny Pacquiao filed Senate Bill 1599 which aims to increase tobacco excise tax to P60 per pack in the first year of implementation, and an additional nine percent each year afterwards.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian filed Senate Bill 2177 raising tobacco taxes to P70 per pack while Senator JV Ejercito filed Senate Bill 1605 increasing tobacco taxes to P90 per pack.
NWRB Executive Director Sevillo David said the reduced allocation will not affect the said provinces because they are already close to harvest season.
“Sa tingin natin hindi makaka-apekto ito sa mga palayan diyan kasi nga po halos patapos na ang pagtatanim diyan at malapit na po mag-ani ang mga kababayan natin sa Bulacan at Pampanga kaya sa tingin natin hindi na ganun kalaki ang pangangailangan nila sa tubig sa panahon na ito, (We think this will not affect the crops in Bulacan and Pampanga because planting season is over and harvest season is near. We think their need for irrigation water supply will not be as much)” he said.
Meanwhile, the NWRB continues to monitor the water level in Angat Dam and will also continue to conduct cloud seeding to aid in the water supply.
“Masusi nating binabantayan ang kasalukuyang level at iyong mga development sa panahon kasi alam naman po natin na iyong pag-recover ng dam partikular ang Angat umaasa tayo sa mga pagulan, (We are carefully monitoring the water level and the development in the weather because the recovery of a dam, particularly in Angat [Dam] relies on rain)” according to David.
Water level in Angat Dam is currently in 177.5 meters from the 212 meters normal high water level.
The NWRB estimates that the water level will only reach as low as 173 meters before May ends.—(with reports from Mon Jocson)
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