>> Sunday, September 27, 2009
By Dexter A. See
BAGUIO CITY – The Baguio Association of Purified and Mineral Water Retailers comprised of 172 establishments here assailed government offices for saying water from refilling stations are contaminated with lead.
But despite this, the BAPMWR said their business operations have not been affected by reported lead contamination of water they are selling to their customers since they have been observing government standards of their drinking water.
Lawyer Nellie Olayres, BAPMWR president, said since reports that water they are selling is contaminated with lead has been widely circulated in the media, the frequency of their customers buying purified and mineral water in their establishments have not been significantly affected since their customers know that they are serving clean water.
According to her, it is unbelievable for the city health services office, the Center for Health Development and Department of Science and Technology in the Cordillera to come out with a report that the water they are selling is contaminated with lead because the agencies earlier admitted they do not have necessary equipment to test presence of lead in the water being sold by accredited purified and mineral water retailers.
However, Olayres admitted the DOST-Cordillera is already capable of conducting the test on lead on purified and mineral water sold in the city but the same will only be done by September and October, thus, it is impossible for some agencies to come out with a report on the lead contamination of the water they are selling this early when no tests have yet been done.
The BAMPWR is the umbrella organization of all purified and mineral retailers in the city which is much lower than the 247 original members during their early years of operation.
Olayres said their group is willing to subject their purified and mineral water to all the required tests being demanded by concerned government agencies to show their customers that are selling clean water contrary to the smear campaign being waged by some of their competitors who are not accredited members of the organization.
In fact, she revealed the purified and mineral water they are selling are being subjected to a monthly bacteriological test by the city health services office and those who are found to have the bacteria on their water samples are required to institute the necessary measures to ensure that the water being bought by their customers are safe for drinking.
She said purified and mineral water they are selling to their customers have passed required laboratory and bacteriological tests, thus, it is safe for human consumption, thus, they have not been successful in their business if they have been found to be selling contaminated water over the years.
The BAPMWR official confirmed appropriate lead content tests will be conducted by the regional DOST and CHD including the city health services office on the water samples of all refilling stations in the city to check veracity of earlier reports that purified and mineral water being sold in the stations are lead contaminated.