DILG to assist controlling Cholera outbreak in Palawan

An April 14, 2011 press release by the Department of the Interior and Local Government
Secretary Jesse M. Robredo of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday directed the regional office of DILG in Region IV-B (MIMAROPA) to assist in controlling the cholera outbreak in the Municipality of Bataraza in Palawan.
Robredo ordered DILG-MIMAROPA Regional Director Rolando Calabazaron to help the local government of Bataraza in ensuring adequate supply of potable water to the affected communities.
Citing reports from the Department of Health (DOH), Robredo said that the main causes of the outbreak are drinking “contaminated or unclean” water as well as the “poor sanitation practices” of residents in the area. At least 30 persons, mostly children, died in the southernmost town in the main island of Palawan after contracting cholera.
The DILG chief also urged the local officials of Bataraza to mobilize municipal health workers.
“Aside from attending to the needs of the victims of the cholera outbreak, their tasks include conducting cleanliness and sanitation campaign in their communities,” said Robredo.
He also directed the regional office to take steps in implementing the “Enhancing the Access to and Provision of Water Services to the Poor Program” of the DILG that should address the water sanitation problem of Bataraza town.
He reiterated his call for local officials nationwide to prioritize policies that seek to improve access to potable water in local government units.
Four hundred thirty-two municipalities in the country have poor access to potable water.
“At present, only 80 percent of Filipinos have access to safe drinking water. It is therefore necessary for LGUs to invest in water supply systems,” said Robredo.