Schools required to provide drinking water for students

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BAGUIO CITY  – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance requiring all primary and secondary schools in the city to provide drinking water for all their students in every classroom and to urge their students to drink a glass of water prior to the start of every subject.

The ordinance authored by Councilor Elmer O. Datuin stated all primary and secondary schools must provide safe drinking water in a clean jar and accessible to all their students and it is the duty of every teacher in each school to urge or at least remained his or her students to drink water before their subject begins.

Under the ordinance, the students are expected to comply with the drinking of water before the start of every subject, except for medical reasons or any other valid reasons.

Further, the students may also drink water at any given time, provided that, they will not in any way disrupt the classes.

The ordinance added frequent urination of pupils and students due to the constant drinking of water is anticipated, hence, they shall be allowed to do so, provided that, they will not in any way disrupt the classes.

The ordinance tasked the Baguio City Division of City Schools, in coordination with the Baguio city Health Services Office, to strictly implement the pertinent provisions of the local legislative measure.

For full implementation, the ordinance stated the City Health Services Office, every beginning of the schoolyear, must brief the pupils and students in each primary and secondary schools in the city on the value of regular drinking of water.

School officials shall also issue policies or guidelines and conduct orientations for the implementation of the provisions of the ordinance and thereafter, the Division of City Schools and the City Health Services Office shall conduct a regular inspection of all schools for their compliance with the ordinance.

The ordinance pointed out the increasing cases of urinary-related illnesses and kidney diseases among local residents due to lack of drinking water intake is considered by the local government as very alarming, thus, there is a need to implement preventive measures and the best way is starting the information at an early age.

It claimed urinary diseases are common and prevalent among schoolchildren due to their excessive intake of junk food and soft drinks sold in the different schools coupled with the lack of drinking water intake among them, hence, the need to implement a policy that aims to increase the water intake of schoolchildren while in school.

The proponent claimed students should be taught to drink water routinely to maintain hydration to help improve their cognitive function which is important for learning.

Moreover, health experts underscored daily intake of sufficient volume of water helps maintain the balance of body fluids and flush out toxins but children do not always recognize the early stages of thirst, which make them particularly vulnerable to becoming dehydrated, especially during warm weather or when they are engaged in sports activities.

By Dexter A. See

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