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DOH lists diseases that contaminated water brings

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, 12 March 2019 08:23 PM

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

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Metro Cebu also hit by water crisis

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Saturday, 16 March 2019 05:09 PM

Water supply shortage is not only being experienced in Metro Manila and Rizal, but also in Metro Cebu.

Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) Spokesperson Charmaine Rodriguez-Kara said, “The supply shortage is caused by the lowering of the water table and pollution of sources due to septic waste and long-term use of fertilizers.”

Kara revealed that even without El Niño, the MCWD is only serving 43% of the Metro Cebu’s requirements due to the insufficient supply and fast increasing demand.

The Jaclupan and Buhisan dams, have been supplying water for the MCWD customers in Compostela and Talisay areas.

Currently, the water production of Jaclupan has been reduced from 33,000 cu. m. to 23,400 cu.m per day, while Buhisan has decreased from 5,000 cu.m. to 1,000 cu.m. per day, which resulted in a total deficit of 13,600 cu.m. per day.

Among the areas affected by the lowering of Buhisan Dam water level, include, elevated parts of Banawam Horseshoe Drive, Capitol Site, Oppra, Ipil-ipil, Camputhaw, Clavano, Sambag 1, Sambag 2, F. Ramos B. Rodriguez, Juana Osmeña, Pier Area, North Reclamation Area, MJ Cuenco Ave., M. Velez

Meanwhile, Jaclupan facility’s reduced production has affected the elevated areas of Talisay City, and downtown Cebu City.

MCWD has 450,000 cu.m. water demand per day from its customers, but it is now only capable of supplying 228,000 cu.m. daily.

This prompted the said water concessionaire to implement rotational water interruption. It also came up with a plan of building up an additional 4 wells as its short-term solution. Its management is also planning to have a major dam project as its long-term response to the problem.

The MCWD expects the shortage to continue until June this year. — Freema Salonga-Gloria

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DOH limits per patient’s watcher in hospitals hit by water shortage

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, 15 March 2019 06:55 PM

A father watches over his child at a public hospital

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) is looking to strictly implement a ‘one watcher, one patient’ policy in hospitals hit by the Manila Water supply shortage.

During a press conference at the National Kidney Institute of the Philippines (NKTI) in Quezon City on March 14, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said a confined patient would only be allowed to have one visitor or watcher to minimize water use.

Duque appealed to patients and their kin to bear with the policy as hospital managements are prioritizing water use for critical care.

He added that this is just temporary given the current situation in parts of Metro Manila and Rizal Province.

Duque said they have identified five hospitals that are affected by the Manila Water’s supply issues. These are NKTI, the Rizal Medical Center in Pasig, the National Center for Mental Health in Mandaluyong, the Philippine Children’s Medical Center and the Quirino Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City.

Manila Water has earlier assured to prioritize hospitals in its distribution of water supply.

READ: Duque assures enough water supply in hospitals amid water shortage

Duque said hospitals can still sustain their current level of operations on just 50 percent of their average daily consumption.

Water is important for hospitals, such as the NKTI for its hospital operations and dialysis sessions.

READ: NKTI to use other dialysis method to cope with water shortage

NKTI earlier said they will be using peritoneal dialysis method which only requires around six liters of water, compared with hemodialysis which consumes 100 liters of water per session. — Robie de Guzman

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Maynilad begins ‘cross-border’ supply sharing with Manila Water

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, 15 March 2019 05:18 PM

Maynilad Water Services opens one of its water valves along West Avenue in Quezon City to allow Manila Water to tap into their supply.

Manila Water consumers will soon find relief from water shortage that gripped the eastern Metro Manila and Rizal Province for more than a week now.

In a report on UNTV News and Rescue’s Ito ang Balita by Grace Casin on Friday, Manila Water Company can now tap on Maynilad Water Services’ supply after the latter formally opened one its water valves along West Avenue in Quezon City.

The said water valve was closed since 1997.

Earlier this week, Maynilad agreed to a ‘cross-border’ water sharing deal with Manila Water to help address its unstable water supply.

Maynilad will share around 50 million liters per day (mld) of its supply after Manila Water agreed with the tariff rates to be applied on the water sharing deal.   

“Progressively i-increase ‘yan to 50MLD, dahan-dahan dahil mayroon pong gagawin. Plus the deep well, ‘pag pinagsabay-sabay po natin, aabutin pa rin po tayo ng April hanggang May,” Manila Water President and CEO Ferdz dela Cruz told reporters during a press briefing on Friday.

According to the Metropolitan Waterworks Sewerage System (MWSS), water sharing between the two concessionaires has long been practiced to help resolve any water emergency.

MWSS President Ronesito Fernandez said that in 2015, Manila Water also came to Maynilad’s rescue when it encountered issues in its water supply due to the effects of the El Niño phenomenon.

“Kasama po ‘yun sa concession agreement na magsi-sharing ng water in cases of emergency,” Fernandez said.

On Monday (March 18), Representatives from MWSS, National Water Resources Board (NWRB), Maynilad and Manila Water are set to face the Lower House to explain about the water shortage that affected thousands of households in parts of Metro Manila and Rizal province.

During the hearing, Solons also agreed to urge the NWRB to allow the use of deep wells during crisis.

The NWRB released a moratorium in 2004 banning unauthorized deep well extraction and pumping of underground water sources in Metro Manila and Cebu to protect groundwater reserves and avoid land subsidence and salt water intrusion.

READ: NWRB warns vs digging illegal deep wells amid water shortage in Metro Manila

“Maybe on Monday, we can prepare a committee resolution allowing them that could be part of the interpretation of the law,” House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said.

Arroyo met with MWSS officials on Thursday (March 14) to discuss the metro water shortage. The meeting was also attended by some Congressmen who suggested for Manila Water to lower the pressure in other areas it is servicing to meet the allocation needs of households hit with service interruption.

“Lahat na lang parepareho na magsakripisyo. Hihinaan ang presyon sa lahat para maiwasan natin ‘yung totally wala nang tubig na tumutulo (sa gripo),” Marikina 1st District Representative Bayani Fernando said.

Malacañang earlier said it is set to issue an Executive Order (EO) to address the many issues involving the supply and distribution of water in Metro Manila.

READ: Malacañang to release executive order on water shortage

The MWSS, for its part, assured that short-term and medium-term solutions are in place to hopefully address the water shortage.

“Hopefully, all these solutions that we have provided are on track, then maybe by April things will go back to normal,” MWSS Chief Regulator Patrick Ty said. – Robie de Guzman

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