AS the acute gastroenteritis (AGE) outbreak that hit some thousands in the past month has officially been declared over, the city’s legislature is now looking for ways to prevent another occurrence of the outbreak.
While tests and sanitation efforts are still ongoing as the outbreak is formally declared over and returning to normal levels of disease occurrence, the Baguio City Council is now drafting up a “safe water” ordinance to ensure that the city’s water sources do not get tainted again.
Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda, chair of the city’s Committee on Health and Environment, said ordinances that regulate water require updating, including the city’s Water Code, which established a local committee that monitors the quality of drinking water and a task force that oversees how water services heed the standards for potable water.
The committee must be better equipped to monitor water standards and craft appropriate measures, according to the initial discussions on the safe water code.
Additionally, Tabanda called on an improvement of the water analysis laboratory of the City Health Services Office (CHSO) to enable it to spot a much wider array of waterborne disease-carriers, such as bacteria and viruses.
The new safe water code would then be put into place as a regulatory framework to also ensure the quality of water and ensure compliance with strict health and safety protocols in an effort to avoid a repeat of the AGE outbreak.