Now, more Mandaluyong City residents can be safer from COVID-19 with two new handwashing facilities donated and turned over by P&G, Safeguard Philippines, and Manila Water Foundation (MWF) in two health centers in the City on December 16.
Built under the WASH in Pandemic program of MWF and the Safe Philippines campaign of P&G, the hygiene facilities were installed at the People’s Health Center and Lying-in Clinic in Barangay Hulo and Block 38-A Health Center in Barangay Addition Hills to deliver immediate water access and hygiene intervention in the “new normal” to help protect more Filipinos from viruses such as the coronavirus.
MWF with its partners have been building handwashing facilities in various locations in the country to reinforce hand hygiene practices that help protect against the spread of COVID-19 and other communicable diseases. This is aligned with Safeguard’s Safe Philippines campaign, which aims to encourage Filipinos to adopt proper hand hygiene habits especially during the pandemic.
The inauguration ceremony was graced by Councilors Benjamin “Benjie” Abalos and Michael Eric “Botong” Gonzales – Cuejilo of Mandaluyong City, Executive Director Reginald Andal of MWF, Chairman Bernard Maglaque of Barangay Hulo, Chairman Carlito Cernal of Barangay Addition Hills and representatives from Manila Water Foundation and Manila Water – Makati-Mandaluyong Business Area.
Councilor Abalos shared in Filipino, “We are grateful for this handwashing facility. One of the basic practices is proper handwashing and this facility provided for Barangay Hulo and (and another one in) Barangay Addition Hills, not only help adults and children, but also the PWDs.”
Dr. Roy Julian, Physician-in-Charge at the People’s Health Center also expressed support for the project. “This is an excellent project, especially in this time of the pandemic when we have to maintain our health through proper hygiene,” he said in Filipino.
During the inauguration ceremony, MWF, P&G and Safeguard also turned over 200 hygiene kits.
WASH in Pandemic
Upholding health and safety above all, the handwashing facilities under the WASH in Pandemic program utilizes a “hybrid” design. This means that the users may turn on the faucets in two ways: via a lever that can be used by a hand or an elbow, or by using a foot pedal. There is a one-meter distance between faucets, to observe physical distancing. To make it more accessible for everyone, there is a lowered sink which can be easily used by children and persons with disabilities (PWDs). Each facility is built with three faucets with soap containers and installed with signages about COVID-19 precautionary measures, proper handwashing, and the responsible use of water.
As of writing, the Mandaluyong City’s Public Information Office cites a total of 5,747 COVID-19 confirmed cases. This project aims to support the City’s fight against the disease by promoting handwashing as the first line of defense against the spread of viruses.