The Philippine Association of Water Districts (PAWD) conducted a consultation meeting with water laboratory experts from various local water districts (LWDs) last May 21, 2015 at the LWUA, Quezon City.
Said meeting is in support of the Department of Health’s (DOH) efforts to update the 2007 Philippine National Standards for Drinking Water (PNSDW) which aims to cope with the current developments in the water sector, both local and international, as well as to address the issues and limitations of the existing manual.
More than 15 chemists and medical technologists from 16 LWDs provided inputs and data during the discussion, which was facilitated by GM Pantaleon Tabanao of Laguna WD and GM Alma Abrasaldo of Bayawan City WD. Both GMs are part of a Technical Working Group (TWG) formed by the DOH that will serve as a review group of the draft drinking water standards.
According to GM Abrasaldo, the involvement said laboratory personnel is enormously crucial as these are the people who are in-charge in making sure that the LWDs are providing potable water.
“Their experiences and the expertise were very useful as we prepare our recommendations to be presented in the TWG meeting in May”, GM Abrasaldo said.
“The meeting also paved the way for benchmarking among the LWDs in the area of water quality,” she added. “Right now, we are also looking at the possibility of holding a seminar on water quality to help our fellow LWDs and to encourage them to have their own laboratories.”
During the first TWG meeting, GM Abrasaldo was appointed as the committee chair on acceptability issues. Some of the issues PAWD raised are the absence of some chemical contaminants in water and frequency of testing, the standardization of the use of chlorine dioxide and its residual test, among others.
GM Tabanao, on the other hand, said that being part of the TWG is a great opportunity for PAWD and its member-LWDs to propose changes on the current PNSDW.
“We will continue to be deeply involved in the revision of the standards as we are a major player in the water industry of this country”, he added.
The revision of the PNSDW was spearheaded by the DOH and the World Health Organization, with the assistance of the University of the Philippines College of Public Health Foundation. (Karlo Abarquez)