MANILA — The Department of Health-Ilocos Region conducted a site inspection of various water refilling stations in the Ilocos region from January to March 2023, to ensure the safety of water products prior to the issuance of their operational permit.
According to Dr. Kai R. Sibayan, the Environmental and Occupational Health (EOH) Regional Manager, water refilling stations are required to comply with the required sanitation standards in order to be given the proper permit and should be adequately monitored.
“Importante dito ang water source, yung building or facility, ang water purification system at mga personnel na magha-handle ng water product.”
“Iniiwasan natin dito ang pagkakaroon ng mga contaminants sa water product gaya ng germs at mga kemikal mula sa source — ground water or tap water, or mula sa water distribution system.”
“Dahil mas marami na ngayon ang gumagamit ng purified water dahil mas maganda ang quality nito kaysa sa tubig na galing sa ating water supply systems. At ito ang kailangan nating bantayan upang mapanatili ang kalinisan at kaligtasan nito,” Sibayan emphasized.
The regional EOH team has inspected a total of 87 water refilling stations from various provinces of the region were inspected from January – March 2023. The DOH regional office is the only agency mandated to inspect and issue initial and operational permits.
A proper water refilling station must be constructed at least 25 meter-radius away from any source of contamination such as a septic tank, the water source must be connected to a water supplier, and water pipes must be protected (imbed, elevate, and covered pipes with concrete if necessary), provide a platform with at least 20cm in height for the refilled bottles and provide a separate sink for pre-washing and final rinsing to avoid cross-contamination.
“We have to ensure the production of safe water in every water refilling station to avoid the spread of waterborne diseases in the community that is why we have to safeguard the health and safety of consumers,” Regional Director Paula Paz M. Sydiongco stated.
“We also need to ensure that operators adhere to all sanitary requirements of PD 856; proper operation and maintenance of water purification equipment are well maintained and regular water testing and analysis are conducted.”
“We have to make sure that water products from the refilling stations are processed accordingly and delivered safely at home,” Sydiongco said.