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Cebu News

Cebu City Council backs ‘safe bottled water’ bill

Mary Ruth R. Malinao - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The Cebu City Council has expressed support for Senate Bill No. 603 or the "Safe Bottled Water Act of 2019."

Introduced by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, SB 603 seeks to provide a framework that will regulate the quality standards for bottled waters thereby ensuring that all bottled water available in the market are safe and fit for public consumption.

Councilor Rey Gealon sponsored a resolution regarding the matter which was approved by the council.

Gealon said that a significant provision of the proposed measure provides for the quality standards for bottled water, as well as its monitoring, reporting, and inspection.

“Ensuring that every Filipino has access to clean, safe and affordable drinking water is important in securing the safety and wellness of the population,” read the explanatory note of SB 603.

According to Water.org, a non-profit aid organization whose goal is to help regions of developing countries without access to safe drinking water and sanitation, nine million out of 101 million Filipinos still rely on unimproved, unsafe, and unsustainable water sources.

Unsafe water supply exposes individuals to the risk of suffering from waterborne diseases such as acute bloody diarrhea, cholera, and other conditions brought by intake or use of water contaminated by microorganisms and other toxins.

In the country, bottled water or water from refilling stations is the most common source of drinking water, with around 44 percent of Filipino households relying on this source.

“With a huge number of Filipino households relying on bottled water as a primary supply, there is a need to ensure the safety, cleanliness and quality standards of these products in order to protect the health and wellbeing of all of its consumers,” it further read.

Section 15, Article II of the 1987 Constitution provides that, “The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them.” — GMR (FREEMAN)

JUAN MIGUEL ZUBIRI

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