Senator Edgardo J. Angara called on the government to invest in water and sanitation projects as he expressed serious concern over the deteriorating state of sanitation in the country.
Angara said that poor sanitation remains a perennial problem in the Philippines as 26 million Filipinos, roughly 30 percent of the total population, still have no access to clean toilets and other sanitation facilities.
"Every person deserves access to clean water and sanitation facilities," emphasized Angara. "In the absence of such, people dangerously expose themselves to sickness and disease."
Stakeholders in the water sector from the public and private sectors applauded Senator Edgardo J. Angara for vowing not to harm or destroy players under the Water Sector Reform Act (WSRA) he authored.
Angara said that proposed water sector reform will improve operations and make water utilities more viable.
"We are trying to rationalize the industry, not to kill it. In fact, the WSRA is intended to strengthen the local water districts," Angara, Chair of the Senate sub-Committee on Water, explained during a recent public hearing.
Senator Edgardo J. Angara called on the administration to take a more active role in assuring water supply services across the country as a recent report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) highlighted the need to find an alternative source of water for Metro Manila.
The metropolis’ overdependence on Angat Dam was deemed unsustainable given that any damage to the dam from natural disasters like earthquakes or droughts could adversely affect Metro Manila and the utility’s area of responsibility both in the short- and long-term.
Senator Edgardo J. Angara called for the proper management of the country’s water resources and the active development of a national renewable energy energy during the the CleanEnviro Summit held in Singapore.
“We live in an era characterized by scarcities, not the least in water and energy,” said Angara during his speech at the summit’s Clean Environment Leaders Sessions.
Angara, who just arrived from Singapore, noted that 16 million Filipinos, or around 20 percent of the population, are without water, while another 15 million do not have ready access to electricity.
Senator Edgardo J. Angara today called on the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and other international organizations to more actively help in water sector reform in the Philippines as the 45th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of The Asian Development Bank began in Manila.
Senator Edgardo J. Angara underscored that proposed measures in reforming the water sector will help improve water service, especially in the country’s numerous water districts.
Angara noted that according to Vicente Tuddao, Executive Director of the River Basin Control Office (RBCO) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), around 112 billion cubic meters—roughly 70 percent of the total water resources available to the country—is either wasted or lost each year.
Senator Edgardo J. Angara underscored that close collaboration and consensus among stakeholders are essential to the success of proposed water sector reforms.
Angara, principal author and sponsor of the proposed Water Sector Reform Act or WSRA (SBN 2997), highlighted that water policy in the country is highly fragmented—where around 16 government agencies have a say in various aspects of the sector—and therefore tends to be implemented in a piecemeal fashion.
Senator Edgardo J. Angara underscored the need for an integrated management of the country's land and water resources as he urged that plenary debates on Senate Bill 3091, which institutionalizes a National Land Use Policy, be held closely with those on measures for water sector reform.
Senator Edgardo J. Angara underscored that proposed reforms to the water sector will not result in the outright dismantling or blanket privatization of the country’s water districts.
Angara, Chair of the Senate sub-Committee on Water, said that these reforms will in fact bolster initiatives to improve the service levels of water districts in terms of water supply and sanitation.
Senator Edgardo J. Angara emphasized the role of scientific data and monitoring in ensuring that reforms in the Philippine water sector will lead to the sustainable management of the country’s water resources, as well as contributing toward disaster risk reduction.
Angara, Chair of the Senate Sub-committee on Water, made the statement during a public hearing on the Water Sector Reform Act or WSRA (SBN 2977).