Philippine water supply roadmap

Oct 2008 - Overview of Philippine water supply roadmap to meet goal of providing safe drinking water to every Filipino by RAMON ALIKPALA, Executive Director, National Water Resources Board (NWRB).  In the absence of a strong regulatory reform, benchmarking is a very good tool in helping water service providers improve their performance. Through benchmarking, a water provider can evaluate and correct its practices and hence achieve its goals. Benchmarking is an important regulatory tool to measure performance. Official data on Philippine households with access to safe water supply and sanitation shows that although 80% of households had access by 2005, coverage had been declining since 2000.  In 1990, there only 67% of households had access to sanitation; this increased to 86% in 2005.
 
By management model, there are about 6,280 water utilities in the Philippines categorized as: LGU (Local Government Unit) – 1,000; Water District – 580; Private – 900; Cooperative – 200; BWSA (Barangay Water Service Association) – 3,100; RWSA (Rural Water Service Association) – 500. Data provided on performance comparisons of utilities by management models in terms of water coverage, operating ratio and staff per 1,000 connections.
 
Unregulated water utilities comprise half of the total. Local Water Utilities Authority (LWUA) regulates water districts; Manila Water Supply and Sewerage- Regulatory Office (MWSS-RO) regulates the two private concessionaires in Manila; NWRB regulates the other private providers and BWSAs/RWSAs/LGUs.
 
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and NWRB are co-chairs of the water supply roadmap; others members include DBM, DENR,DILG, DOF, DOH, DOJ, LWUA, NHRC, CDA, NAPC, with support from  Asian Development Bank (ADB), AusAid, GTZ, JBIC / JICA, Streams of Knowledge, USAid, World Bank – WSP. Key result areas are in: Policy; Financing; Regulation; Service delivery; Support Services; Oversight. Strengthening Private-Public-Partnerships and multi-stakeholder participation in the sector are among the programs.
 
Roles each agency plays – LGUs ensure the provision of water supply and sanitation to their constituency; LWUA is responsible in providing financial and technical support to water districts;   NWRB is resource and economic regulator as well as appellate body;  Department of Health (DOH) ensures potability and addresses sanitation concerns; Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) monitors effluence standards.  

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philippine water supply roadmap_alikpala-oct08.pdf925.57 KB