Govt to provide tap water to every Filipino

Published by rudy Date posted on March 23, 2011

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd on Tuesday announced that government was inching closer to fulfill the advocacies of the Millennium Development Goal Achievement Program (MDG F-1919) of providing potable water to every Filipino in the country.

During his speech before the World Water Day 2011 celebration in Pasay City, President Aquino said that the National Water Resources Board was reviewing the Water Code of the Philippines and finalizing its amendments “to make it more responsive to the changing needs of Filipinos.”

“All these tasks need to be considered as high priority issues so that we can provide our children the healthy future they deserve,” the President added.

Mr. Aquino also said that, “Aside from a technical assistance program to improve the water service provision, a study on the IWRM [Integrated Water Resources Management] has also been conducted in an effort to alleviate poverty and develop the economy of the Pampanga River Basin,” he said.

He also said that the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the water resources board were also “developing an adjusted tariff setting methodology for small water service providers to ensure adequate tariffs that will lead to cost recovery and improved services.”

During his speech, President Aquino said that there about16 million Filipinos still do not have access to safe, sustainable water supply.

“The shortfalls in the quantity and quality of infrastructure, including water supply and sanitation facilities, are critical constraints to our economic growth and poverty alleviation measures,” he said.

The President also said that the number of waterless municipalities outside Metro Manila had increased despite the funds allotted by the government for water.

Mr. Aquino said that through the joint efforts of the Department of Interior and Local Government, water resources board and NEDA, the government has “inched closer” to fulfilling the advocacies of the program.

“Our local government units and key officials in government will be equipped with the knowledge they need to combat water scarcity, specifically in developing, operating, and managing their own potable water utilities,” he said.

The MDG F-1919, or the Enhancing the Access to and Provision of Water Services to the Poor, is a joint program of the three government agencies aimed at responding to the needs of waterless municipalities.

The Department of Interior and Local Government has identified 432 municipalities in the country to be without basic water and sanitation services as of 2010. The figure represents about16 million Filipinos who do not have access to adequate safe drinking water. –CRIS G. ODRONIA, Manila Times

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