Supporting the Oplan Kalusugan (OK) sa DepEd and WASH in Schools (WinS) programs of the Department of Education, P&G Safeguard Philippines and Manila Water Foundation inaugurated 19 WASH facilities representing the first batch of 285 hygiene facilities to be constructed in schools across the National Capital Region (NCR) and Rizal Province on March 22.
As face-to-face classes resume, the need to ensure the health and safety of pupils and teachers becomes more crucial now than ever. Through its collaboration project #SafeWASH in Schools, P&G’s Safeguard Philippines and the Manila Water Foundation aim to strengthen efforts to promote a safe and conducive learning environment. This entails the construction of 10-faucet, foot-pedal-operated hygiene facilities, distribution of hygiene supplies, provision of info-education materials, and conduct of hygiene education sessions.
“P&G’s flagship brand Safeguard is expanding the #SafeWASH program to fund the construction of hygiene facilities in public elementary schools in Metro Manila and other key areas. Together, we will enable 285 public elementary schools to be WASH-ready, in time for the eventual reopening of face-to-face classes,” P&G Communications Director Anna Legarda-Locsin shared. Through their flagship brand Safeguard, P&G collaborated with Manila Water Foundation (MWF) for the #SafeWASH program to construct over 30 hygiene facilities in high-traffic public spaces in health centers and then hospitals at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As an organization with the core advocacy of WASH or water access, sanitation and hygiene, Manila Water Foundation is grateful to be the implementing partner of #SafeWASH in Schools project with the Department of Education (DepED), Department of Health (DOH), Manila Water Company, and P&G’s Safeguard Philippines. This is a clear demonstration of our collective effort and impact – working together to create the enabling environment and the right conditions for good hand hygiene habits in schools for our learners and teachers,” MWF Executive Director Reginald Andal said.
The turnover ceremony on March 22 was held at Kamuning Elementary School in Quezon City and graced by MWSS Chief Regulator Atty. Patrick Ty, MWSS Corporate Office Water and Sewerage Management Department Head Engr. Ramon Fabul representing MWSS Administrator Engr. Leonor Cleofas, and DepEd NCR Education Support Services Division Chief Dr. Crisanto Ecija. The Quezon City LGU was also represented by Vincent Vinarao of the Climate Change and Sustainability Department who delivered a message on behalf of Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte.
Manila Water Company was represented by East Zone Chief Operating Officer Abelardo Basilio, East Zone Regulatory Affairs Director Atty. Kaye Celera-Revil and the Quezon City Area Business Manager Marie Joy Flores. Project donor P&G Safeguard Philippines was represented by Communications Leader Jeune San Juan.
These interventions aim to ensure the safe return of students, teachers, and staff upon resumption of face-to-face classes. #SafeWASH in Schools aims to improve the WinS readiness of public schools by prioritizing zero-star rated schools under the category of group handwashing facilities in DepEd’s WinS Three Star Approach which ensures that hygiene programs and complemented with the appropriate WASH infrastructure for the learners in school.