Senate urges DOH to probe Balilihan water supply mess

By Ric V. Odencio | 12:56 PM May 11, 2023

The Senate has urged the Department of Health (DOH) to investigate the contaminated water supply in Balilihan, Bohol during the joint committee hearing the other day, Senate videoed hearing showed.

Senator Raffy Tulfo, who was one of the Senate panel in said committee hearing, initiated the move in a bid to make the contaminated and untidy water supply in said town drinkable.

As a result, the top health officials who attended the said hearing vowed to look into the water mess in Balilihan and will coordinate with health officials in region 7 where Bohol belongs.

Tulfo said that the said probe into the water mess in Balilihan was prompted based on the complaints of concerned residents of said town badly affected by the water contamination.

Tulfo also asked DOH to issue advisory on the contaminated water so the people may know.

Senator Pia Cayetano who led the said hearing said there’s a need for this advisory so the people may know and understand the quality of water they’re using.

The Senate’s joint committees on Sustainable Development Goals and Public Services and Local Government, Health and Demography conducted the said committee hearing.

Tulfo, in radio interview over DyRD, was able to persuade the provincial health officer Dr. Reymoses Cabagnot to divulge the water test result in Balilihan water system. The latter in same live radio interview refused to make public the result of the water allegedly positive with E-coli.

Cabagnot said he cannot reveal to the public the laboratory test water result without sanction by the higher ups or from Gov. Aris Aumentado. The interview called up the governor and right there and then the governor ordered to disclose the said water result.

But municipal councilor Lorenzo Baliong, a close ally of Mayor Pureza Chatto, disputed the said water result. He said in his fabook post that so the people may know the result of E-coli positive is untrue since the Provincial Health Office that tested the water in said town has no capacity to conduct the wate test.

He said, “Pero ang gihimo sa LGU Balilihan atong gi double check ang atong mga chlorinator dosing pump sa atong mga water supply ilabi na sa giingon nga doubtful water source sa Del Carmen Weste. Atong gipakuhaan sa atong sanitary inspector gahapon para sa water sampling for E coli ug gi pa test sa pribado nga water laboratory sa Tagbilaran nga accredited sa DOH ky Wala man kini sa ubang laboratory sa Bohol.”

(But the LGU Balilihan has conducted a double check on the chlorinator dosing pump in said water supply in barangay Del Carmen Weste and take out water sampling for a separate water lab test in a private entity accredited by the DOH).

If found to be positive, he said, another test and upgrade of the chlorination system or other corrective measures will be instituted.

“Mao nga ayaw mo kabalaka kung adonay gamay nga baho ug chlorine ang atong panubig tungod ky chlorinated water man kini unya atong gisunod ang chlorine residual test gamit ang Colormetric residual tester para makita ang desired residual ratio base sa Phil. National standard for drinking water nga .3ppm up to 1.5 ppm or mg/liter,” Baliong said.

Mayor Pureza V. Chatto, wife of Congressman Edgardo Chatto, asked the people of Balilihan for a voluntary disconnection if they don’t want the water allegedly contaminated with E-coli, or adviced them to boil the said water before using. (rvo)

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