MLANG, North Cotabato - The local legislative body of Mlang unanimously approved during its regular session on Monday an ordinance requiring all students to a drink glass of water prior to the start of every subject in school.
Town councilor Gerardo Pinol, committee chair on agriculture, introduced the “water break-time policy for kidney care” ordinance, which aims to increase the water intake of elementary and high school students while at school.
Pinol said urinary diseases are prevalent among school children due to their excessive intake of junk food and soft drinks sold in schools.
“Although we have existing ordinance regulating the sale of these merchandise, our authorities including us parents find it hard to prevent our school children from accessing these kinds of foods,” Pinol said in his explanatory note.
Pinol said the ordinance shall apply to all elementary and high schools, public and private, within the town of Mlang.
He said that classroom teachers are responsible for ensuring the availability of potable water in every classroom, as well as seeing to it that the policy is observed religiously.
“If there are eight subjects a day, each pupil/student can also consume eight glasses of water, [the] required intake during the day,” Pinol said.
The town of Mlang has 41 elementary schools and 11 high schools.
The ordinance will take effect after its publication in regional newspapers, Pinol said.
Also according to Pinol, the Municipal Health Office is responsible for conducting free and regular urine examinations charge to monitor the ordinance's effectivity as a preventive measure against urinary illnesses.
Pinol said he was alarmed by the increasing cases of urinary-related illnesses among constituents, and added that he instructed the Mlang health office to conduct research up to the barangay level in order to determine the exact number of constituents suffering from kidney diseases.
“We want this data for future actions against the illness,” he said.
Pinol added that according to burial records from the mayor’s office, at least a dozen constituents died of kidney malfunction in the first two quarters of the current year.
“This is alarming and we don’t want these figures to increase in the remaining months,” he said. — BM, GMA News