Philippine government, Unilever to award schools for providing usable, gender-segregated and clean toilets with GIZ support
[Photo: Students are involved in checking the usability and cleanliness of school toilets. (GIZ Fit for School project)]
GIZ is supporting the Philippines’ Department of Education (DepEd) and the company Unilever, through its Domex brand of toilet hygiene products, in making school toilets usable, gender- segregated and clean for millions of Filipino school children by 2021.
On January 23, DepEd, in partnership with Unilever, officially launched the ‘Escuelang Unstoppable Award’, a recognition to be given to the DepEd Division that has the highest percentage of schools reaching national sanitation standards using the results of the annual WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) in Schools monitoring. The awards will be given yearly on World Toilet Day on November 19.
The project is part of DepEd’s GIZ-supported WASH in Schools program, which mandates all primary and secondary schools in the country to improve their WASH facilities and keep them usable and clean. In addition, all schools are requested to integrate hygiene routines into students’ daily school life through handwashing with soap after using the toilet and prior to eating, and toothbrushing after recess. WASH habits are the most important way to stop the spread of diseases.
“DepEd is making great efforts to improve the WASH status in public schools. We are proud that it has been recognized for modelling WASH in schools in Asia and beyond. The ‘Escuelang Unstoppable Award’ will strengthen DepEd’s partnership with the private sector for the health and well-being of our children,” said Dr. Madalena Lim, DepEd’s Manila City Division Schools Division Superintendent.
“Domex has been raising hygiene standards in the family context for nearly 100 years now, and we at Unilever are looking forward to joining forces and supporting the great efforts of the Department of Education to improve the status of school toilets,” stated Ed Sunico, Vice President of Unilever Philippines.
“Usable and clean school toilets are a right, not a privilege,” added Unilever’s Domex Brand Manager for the Philippines, Josh Yeo.
GIZ welcomes the partnership with the European company under the German Government’s develoPPP.de programme, which pools federal and European private-sector funds and expertise to fast-track inclusive and sustainable development.
“We all know that the issues around WASH in schools cannot be addressed with infrastructure alone. Proper toilet manners of students, and clear concepts and routines on cleaning and O&M, are at the core of school sanitation. We at GIZ are happy that Unilever is supporting DepEd in accelerating the movement for clean school toilets by providing publicity and incentives for schools that show excellence and can be models for other schools in the Philippines and beyond,” said Bella Monse, Senior Advisor at GIZ Philippines.
(DISCLAIMER: GIZ supports the principle of cleaning toilets with bleach but does not endorse any brand or product.)