Manila Water Foundation, the additional corporate social responsibility arm of East Zone concessionaire Manila Water Company for areas outside Metro Manila, visited different parts of the archipelago spreading the value of handwashing as part of proper hygiene and healthcare. The Foundation joined over 100 countries, involving more than 200 million people across five continents in celebrating the 2013 Global Handwashing Day.
Carla Beriña-Kim, Executive Director of Manila Water Foundation, imparts that handwashing serves as an easy and cost-effective measure in preventing different infections and diseases. “This simple task can lower the number of people affected by fast-spreading illnesses that take a toll not only on one’s health, but also on the family’s budget. When done properly, regularly and collectively, handwashing can create healthier communities”, says Beriña-Kim.
On its first year to lead a series of events for the Global Handwashing Day in the Philippines, Manila Water Foundation staged a week-long celebration that saw more than 7,000 people participating in its activities. Students, teachers, and school personnel from different schools in Metro Manila, Pampanga, Laguna, and Boracay Island were visited by the Foundation, informing them on the proper way of washing one’s hands and how responsibly transforming this into a habit may reduce vulnerability to different health risks and infections.
Partakers were encouraged to stamp their handprints on the pledge wall to signify their commitment to practice proper handwashing and to encourage their family and friends to do the same. In a move to further its advocacy, Manila Water Foundation extended its efforts by setting up booths that deliver information on the benefits of handwashing in Trinoma Mall in Quezon City, Pavillion Mall in Biñan, Laguna, Nuvali in Sta. Rosa, Laguna and Marquee Mall in Angeles, Pampanga. Participants showed their support to the cause by contributing in the pledge sticker wall. As its culminating event, the Foundation conducted an information and education drive at the Boracay Beach Front Station One and enjoined tourists and locals alike to practice proper handwashing.
The successful celebration was co-presented by Manila Water, Laguna Water, Clark Water, Boracay Water, and supported by the Department of Education, Globe Telecom, Ayala Malls, Unilever (Vaseline as official soap sponsor), Universal Robina Corporation (Granny Goose Tortillos, Mang Juan, Hunt’s and Refresh), Unilab (RiteMed and Ceelin Plus) and Enchanted Kingdom, as well as media partners, The Philippine Star, Business World, Health Today and Working Mom.