MANILA, June 28 (PIA) — About 105,502 poor households in Mimaropa still have no access to sanitary toilets, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) database shows.

The National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTSPR), the targeting system of “who and where the poor are” of the department identified that 43 percent of poor households across the region lack sanitary toilets.

The 2009 NHTSPR household assessment revealed that most of these toilet-less poor households are found in the province of Palawan with 38, 313 followed by Oriental Mindoro with 30,079, and Occidental Mindoro with 19,374. Nonetheless, Romblon have 10,608 and 7,128 households in Marinduque, respectively.
DOH said that the main reason for this problem is poverty and the fact that putting up toilets is not their top priority.

“We stopped giving free toilet bowls due to the increase in number of households. But we are using the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) to solve the problem with the help of the Local Government Units,” says Alejandre B. Mercado, Sanitation and Inspector of Department of Health (DOH) IV-Mimaropa.

CLTS is an innovative methodology for mobilising communities to completely eliminate open defecation.

Meanwhile, DSWD database shows that the rural areas in the region posted the biggest percentage share of households more likely to be openly defecating.

“The lack of sanitary toilets could lead to diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, ascaris and parasitic worms where the children are at high risk which can result to malnutrition” said Mercado. (Jason Eco Oliverio/DSWD4B/PIA4B)