COTABATO CITY: Starting Monday, households in a remote village in North Cotabato will be penalized if they do not have sanitary toilet and proper sewerage system, officials said on Sunday.
A fine of PhP1,000 awaits each violator, according to barangay officials of Barangay Kabalantian in Arakan, North Cotabato. Kabalantian has a population of 2,492.
On Monday, the entire village of Kabalatian will be declared “zero open defecation” (ZOD) after it passed requirements set by the Arakan Rural Health Unit and the ACF International, an international humanitarian non-government organization (NGO) more known as Action Against Hunger.
The municipality of Arakan with a population of about 43,554 and its 28 barangays belong to the partly urban areas in the southern Philippines.
Last year, village officials of Kinayawan declared the entire barangay as ZOD. With its benefits and health now enjoyed by its inhabitants, two other villages, Mantangkil and Anapolo, followed suit.
According to Arakan Rural Health Unit, the three barangays have been declared 100 percent compliant with an ordinance putting it an area with ZOD.
Arakan Mayor Rene Rumbino Sr. said the ZOD declaration was made possible through the efforts and commitment of the Arakan LGU, RHU and other village local officials where the Water, Hygiene, and Sanitation (WaSH) projects of the ACF International are being implemented.
Rumbino said other barangays in Arakan, which are not covered by WaSH project, were inspired by the outputs of the previous barangays and embraced the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach in implementing ZOD.
Although not covered by CLTS, the nearby village of Badiangon (population 2,500), has replicated the approach and has also been declared ZOD. PNA