The City Government of Parañaque bagged yet another prestigious award, this time from the World Health Organization, which named Parañaque as a Healthy City with Best Practices in Water Safety Planning during the Sixth Global Conference of the Alliance for Healthy Cities held in Hong Kong from October 29 to November 1.
Parañaque is one of only seven cities that were recognized during the event out of the more than 700 cities in the Western Pacific Region which submitted health programs for consideration for the prestigious award, and is the only one from the Philippines.
Mayor Edwin L. Olivarez said the latest accolade received by the city under his administration is further proof that, by working together with all sectors of society, nothing is impossible.
“We are fortunate enough that our hard work is recognized by no less than the World Health Organization, and this inspires us to work harder for our constituents and all our stakeholders in Parañaque,” the mayor said.
The recognition came less than three months after Parañaque was named the Philippines’ Most Competitive City in the Economic Dynamism Category by the National Competitiveness Council in its Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index for 2014 which was released in August.
The Global Conference of the Alliance for Healthy Cities, which is held every two years, has been giving out recognitions to exemplary health programs all over the world, and Parañaque has received numerous citations from the Alliance. This is the first time that it received recognition directly from the WHO.
Dr. Olga Virtusio, Parañaque’s City Health Officer, said the recognition for the city’s Water Safety Planning is a culmination of several years of work to provide accessible and clean potable water to the people of Parañaque, many of whom used to depend on ambulant delivery trucks for their potable water needs.
She acknowledged the big contribution of Maynilad, the private water concessionaire in the western part of Metro Manila, for improving accessibility to clean drinking water in the city, including those who are living in informal settler communities that make up a big part of the population.
She said that through the effective partnership between the water company and the city government, many depressed communities and even middle class subdivisions are now able to enjoy clean drinking water, thus improving the overall health and well-being of the people of Parañaque.
She said that aside from the dependable and clean supply of potable water, part of the Water Safety Planning Program of the city includes monthly monitoring and testing of water quality to ensure that there are no harmful bacteria and other organisms that could cause diseases and other health concerns, which were duly noted by the WHO.