More investment needed in water, sanitation, sewerage systems - Angara
Quezon City (21 June) -- Senator Edgardo J. Angara said today that more investment in water management is needed to meet the challenge of delivering this basic human need, which in turn is essential to economic development. Angara said this is especially critical during this season when sources for clean water are becoming more scarce and expensive.
"Climate change, urbanization and the need to feed a growing population have put a strain on our finite water resources, and there is an urgent need to address the dangers they pose to the health of our people and the sustainability of our environment. More often than not, water sanitation and sewerage systems in the country is overlooked and neglected. We need to pour more resources into it," said Angara who chairs the Senate Committee on Finance.
He added, "The acute seasonal problem of lack of access to potable water has large economic costs, as well as profound impact on the quality of life. Poor water quality affects our citizens' health, lost agricultural production, threatens food security, and a host of other damaging consequences."
According to World Bank, 13 million Filipinos rely on creek water and deep wells as they have no access to clean water while another 25 million do not have clean toilet facilities. This problem translates into health issues, such as rampant cases of diarrhea, gastro-enteritis, typhoid fever, cholera and other health hazards caused by using dirty water. Around 31 percent of illnesses in the Philippines are water-borne and are more likely to hit the underprivileged who cannot afford clean water.
Angara, former chair of Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, is also alarmed that there is an increasing number of poor Filipino families that are affected by diseases caused by water pollution and poor sanitation. Moreover, people in the slums of developing countries typically pay five to 10 times more per unit of water than do people with access to piped water. Of the 2.6 billion people worldwide who do not have access to clean water, more than half live on less than $2 a day.
Faced with this alarming situation, Angara now calls for more investment in water sanitation and sewerage system and to start bringing the task of managing water resources and regulating water use down to the provincial, city, town and barangay levels. (COMSTE) [top]