It was not totally surprising to me that only a few of the water refilling stations in Mandaue City has the mandated sanitary permit.
In her appearance before the Mandaue City Council last Wednesday, Assistant City Health Officer Dr. Dominga Obenza cited their sanitary inspectors’ report that only 24 out of the 88 water refilling stations in the City has complied the Sanitation Code of the Philippines.
More than two-thirds of the water stations are opting to pay the penalty for not securing the sanitary permit rather than going into the bureaucracy. It is a practice in Mandaue City that businesses may proceed with their business operation after getting in advance their business permit sans other required permits. City Hall just give the businesses 45 days, after acquiring the business permit, to comply all other requirements such as fire safety permit, sanitary permit, sss registration, etc.
The Council is investigating how safe is the water sold by the refilling stations. I was kinda interested in joining the discussion from the audience gallery being into bottled water dealership for a while. I have so many things to be shared as far as water refilling station business.
- Sanitary Permit should be required for water refilling stations before it can operate (also suggested by some members of the Council that all-food business should secure first the sanitary permit before a business permit shall be granted.)
- Water Refilling stations should NOT use recycled caps hence only God knows where the caps went and what happened to it after the filled bottle was consumed.
- Regulate water dealers. Most of them uses recycled cap bottles and open pick-up (multicab) are used in their deliveries (dust and other pollutants may enter into the bottle if exposed during transport). Water dealership has become a good livelihood alternative for some hence it has a good profit margin. Though, there are hidden costs in the operation of its business.
- Don’t allow water station to use pre-processed “purified” water from other sources. It’s been a practice of some water stations to purchase “processed” water delivered in water tanks to their stations coming from other sources. The Mandaue City Health Office has reported that 11 of the 88 water stations in the City has been sourcing its processed water from other sources outside the City. 54 stations used the water from MCWD while 23 stations used deep well. These water stations are trying to squeeze their operational expenses as well as capital expenditures by not buying or installing the reverse osmosis machine which purifies the source water. Some of these water stations are buying pre-processed (purified or distilled) from companies who are into water purification in bulk quantity. My source pointed out GMC in Lapulapu City where its extra distilled water are bought by some water stations. What’s wrong with this practice? First, water refilling stations are supposed to do their production inside their premises. Second, the pre-processed water is delivered by a truck hence sanitation is an issue.
In the meantime, the City Council asked the appearance of the City Administrator during the next regular session on Tuesday. Be there!!!!