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Philippines - Millions have no access to clean water

Tan KW
Publish date: Fri, 24 Mar 2023, 10:01 AM
Tan KW
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A Filipino lawmaker is raising the alarm over a government agency report that 11 million families in the Philippines have no access to clean water.

Senator Joel Villanueva was reacting to the data from the National Water Resources Board that 11 million, or 41.6% of the more than 26 million families, are deprived of quality drinking water.

“It’s such a sad reality that almost half of the Filipino families do not have access to clean water due to lack of supply and sanitation,” he said.

Villanueva urged the government to take “an active role in ensuring that every Filipino has safe and potable water by having a comprehensive management programme on water safety planning”.

To ensure the preservation, management and utilisation of the country’s water resources, Villanueva also filed Senate Bill No. 2013, or the “National Water Act”, which establishes a national framework for water resource management and the creation of the Department of Water Resources and the Water Regulatory Commission.

The creation of the Department of Water Resources is one of the priority measures of President Ferdinand Marcos’ administration.

Last month, Marcos approved the creation of the Water Resource Management Office to manage the country’s water resources and respond to the current environmental challenges through a concerted government effort with the help of all sectors of society.

Aside from getting water from unsafe sources like deep wells and rivers, National Water Resources Board executive director Sevillo David said sanitation remains a problem in the Philippines as many families still practise open defecation, risking water contamination and diseases.

 - Xinhua

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