Last September 2, a state of calamity was declared by the city government of Iloilo after logging at least 282 acute gastroenteritis across 77 barangays and eight cholera cases in the previous month. At least seven people have also died of acute gastroenteritis, confirmed Dr. Annabelle Tang, acting Iloilo City Health Office (ICHO) chief.
Health officials have attributed the uptick due to broken water pipes, the torrential rains, and flooding experienced in the city in the last few months. With the recent monsoon rains and its damage to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure, common diseases like diarrhea, water-borne diseases (typhoid fever, cholera, leptospirosis), and vector-borne diseases (malaria and dengue) are at a surge – endangering communities’ health for months to come.
Cebu Pacific partnered with global humanitarian aid organization Waves For Water Philippines to immediately assist in the transport and distribution of 80 filtration systems free of charge, where 30 filters were turned over to the provincial government, and 50 filters to the municipal government of Iloilo City. The organization also supplemented the turnover with a WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) education session to better equip local clean water champions implementing the filtration systems in the affected communities.
At 0.1 micron absolute, the filters make it possible to drink from a water source without the risk of any life-threatening contaminants passing through — preventing the spread of severe illnesses and death from diseases like gastroenteritis and cholera.
Iloilo was also one of the many cities and provinces that was severely affected by Super Typhoon Odette (International Name: Rai). It first made landfall on 16 December 2021 in Siargao Island and has affected over 12 million people since then. Access to clean drinking water and basic hygiene and sanitation services remain to be intermittent in many recovering areas.
“We believe that one of the most overlooked crises in the Philippines is access to safe water, which is especially amplified during the typhoon season – when vulnerabilities in infrastructure are exposed. In this day and age, no one should be dying from easily preventable waterborne illnesses. We are grateful for our continued partnership with Cebu Pacific that helps enable us to make clean water access for all reality,” said Jenica Dizon, Country Director of Waves For Water Philippines.
“Cebu Pacific remains committed to helping the communities that we fly to. At the height of the pandemic, we supported the government’s health and safety initiatives by transporting personal protective equipment (PPE), essential cargo, and COVID vaccines to provinces within the airline’s reach. Now we are pursuing this partnership with Waves for Water Philippines and are looking at collaborating with local government offices to assist them in providing clean water access to local communities which is an important sustainable development goal,” said Michael Ivan Shau, Cebu Pacific’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer.
Cebu Pacific currently flies to Iloilo from Manila, Cebu, General Santos, and Davao. The airline continues to offer its guaranteed low fares to stimulate travel across its network while it implements a multi-layered approach to safety to encourage everyJuan to fly once more. Visit www.cebupacificair.com to learn more about their latest offerings, safety protocols, and travel reminders.