| PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 856
CODE ON SANITATION
Approved: 23 December 1975.
WHEREAS, the health of the people, being of paramount importance, all efforts of public services should be directed
towards the protection and promotion of health; and
WHEREAS, the advance in the field of sanitation in recent years, there arises the need for updating and codifying our
scattered sanitary laws to ensure that the are in keeping with modern standards of sanitation and provide a handy
reference and guide for their enforcement;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me
by the Constitution, do hereby order and decree the following Code on Sanitation:
CODE ON SANITATION OF THE PHILIPPINES
Chapter 1- General Provisions
Sec. 1. Title. - The title of this Code is "Code on Sanitation of the Philippines"
Sec. 2. Definition of Terms. - Whenever any of the following words or terms are used herein or in any rules or
regulation issued under this Code, it shall have the meaning given it in this section, as follows:
a. Code - Code on Sanitation of the Philippines
b. Department - The Department of Health.
c. Secretary - The Secretary of Health.
d. Regional Director - An official who heads a Regional Health Office.
e. Local Health Authority - An official or employee responsible for the application of a prescribe health measure in a
local political subdivision.
f. Health Officer - Provincial, City or Municipal Health Officer.
g. Engineer - A Sanitary Engineer.
h. Section - Any section of this code unless the term refers to other statutes which are specifically mentioned.
Sec. 3. Functions of the Department of Health. - The Department shall have the following powers and functions:
a. Undertake the promotion and preservation of the health of the people and raise the health standards of individuals
and communities throughout the Philippines.
b. Extend maximum health services to the people in rural areas and provide medical care to those who cannot afford it
by reason of poverty;
c. Develop, administer and coordinate various health activities and services which shall include public health,
preventive, curative and rehabilitative programs, medical care, health and medical education services;
d. Upgrade the standards of medical practice, the quality of health services and programs to assure the people of
better health services;
e. Assist local health agencies in developing public health programs including medical care, and promote medical and
public health research;
f. Issue permits to establish and operate government and private hospitals, clinics, dispensaries, schools of nursing,
midwifery, and other para-medical courses, puericulture centers, clinical laboratories and blood banks.
g. Prescribe standard rates of fees for health, medical, laboratory, and other public health services; and
h. Performs such other functions as may be provided by law.
Sec. 4. Authority of the Secretary. - In addition to the powers and authority of the Secretary which are provided by
law, he is likewise empowered to promulgate rules and regulations for the proper implementation and enforcement of
the provisions of this Code.
Sec. 5. Authority of the Bureau of Directors. - The Bureau Directors shall be responsible for staff activities involving
the development of plans, programs. operating standards and management techniques in their respective field of
Sec. 6. Authority of the Regional Directors. - The Regional Directors shall administer health functions in their regions,
implement policies, standards and programs