Northern Samar town attains zero open defecation tag

The Department of Health (DOH) has recognized the town of Bobon, Northern Samar for achieving Zero Open Defecation (ZOD) status.

The DOH announced on Thursday that the town met the criteria based on validation by a team from the regional office, local government units, and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef).

“This is to encourage more municipalities in the region to vie for this very noble and effective strategy to promote environmental sanitation and a healthy Eastern Visayas,” said DOH regional information officer Jelyn Lopez Malibago in a Facebook post.

Bobon is the second town in Northern Samar to earn such status. Last year, Mapanas was declared the first town in the province to achieve the status by the regional validation team.

Mapanas received PHP200,000 from the provincial government for accomplishing the elimination of open defecation, improved and safe sanitation practices in the town.

The Provincial Board earlier allowed the granting of incentives to towns in Northern Samar that achieved ZOD status as declared by the Department of Health (DOH).

Under the ZOD campaign, the DOH is pushing that each house should have a basic toilet facility by 2025 to achieve universal health care.

As of 2019, only 11 percent of villages nationwide (4,625 out of 42,045) are certified ZOD, where people have abandoned the practice of open defecation, according to DOH, and families have learned to use a toilet and wash their hands after use.

Open defecation is when human wastes are disposed of in the fields, forests, bushes, open bodies of water, beaches, and other open spaces.

Bobon is a 4th class town in Northern Samar with a population of 25,964 people.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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