January 31, 2023

The city council, through Resolution 12-2023, has reiterated its request to the local drinking water quality monitoring committee to prepare a report or update on the compliance of drinking water refillers with Ordinance 41-2007, which provides for the guidelines for the operations of purified and mineral water refilling stations in the city.

The city council made the same request in 2017 through Resolution 86-2017.

The committee is chaired by the city mayor and co-chaired by the vice mayor with the chairperson of the city council’s committee on market, trade, and commerce as the action officer.

Members are the city health services officer; city treasurer; city environment and parks management officer; and representatives of the Bureau of Food and Drugs Administration, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Science and Technology, and the private sector.

The resolution stressed there is a need to ensure that extractors, processors, and distributors of purified and mineral water are complying with government regulations to protect public health.

Under Ordinance 41-2007, any person or entity, prior to operating a purified and mineral water refilling station in the city, shall first secure a business permit and other requirements such as sanitary permit and health certificate issued by the City Health Services Office (CHSO). 

Owners of water refilling stations shall also conform to the criteria set by the Philippine National Drinking Water Standards and their water treatment process shall be in accordance with the procedures prescribed by the CHSO.

The CHSO shall conduct periodic testing of all purified and mineral water dispensing and refilling stations “to safeguard the health of consumers of purified and mineral water.”

The ordinance also requires the labeling of water containers in accordance with the requirements of the Food and Drug Administration.

On Jan. 10, the Baguio Association of Purified and Mineral Water Refillers, Inc. (BAPMWR) turned in to the city council its annual status survey report for 2022, which contains the status of water refilling stations in the city visited by the BAPMWR officers.

In summary, 161 water refilling stations are actively operating with business permits, 45 are actively operating without business permits, and 53 have permanently closed. – Jordan G. Habbiling