The Negros Occidental provincial government is providing incentives to local government units (LGUs) which have achieved zero open defecation (ZOD) status.
A ZOD status is achieved when all households in a particular barangay have access to sanitary toilet facilities and stop the practice of open defecation, which results in zero human feces exposure in the environment.
Dr. Ma. Girlie Pinongan, provincial health officer, said on Tuesday that, so far, La Carlota City and San Enrique have already achieved the ZOD status.
“All their barangays have already complied. We start in the barangays. More than 40 (out of the province’s 601) barangays have ZOD status. We still have a long way to go, so we really sustain the campaign,” she told reporters.
Pinongan said the Provincial Health Office (PHO) welcomes the achievement of the two LGUs, which received a cash incentive of PHP100,000 each from the provincial government.
t means all residents in 14 barangays of La Carlota City and all those in 10 barangays of San Enrique already have access to toilets.
Each barangay received a cash incentive of PHP20,000.
Pinongan said the campaign to achieve a ZOD in all barangays is a collaboration between the province and the LGU, wherein the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office’s cash-for-work program provides an amount to the barangays to purchase materials and construct toilet facilities.
“The families should construct it themselves for free labor, and they are given the responsibility of taking care of the toilet facilities, which should be functional. There should be a septic tank,” she added.
Negros Occidental’s continued campaign to promote ZOD in all of its 601 barangays is in line with the Department of Health’s aim to achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation and the Provincial Integrated Safe Water Program, aligned with the United Nations’ sixth sustainable development goal of clean water and sanitation. (PNA)