69 Capiz water systems completed in 2008
by Jemin B. Guillermo
Roxas City (9 February) -- An additional almost half a million Filipinos in the provinces have been given access to clean drinking water supply in 2008.
With the completion of some 69 infrastructure projects to improve the water facilities in the countryside last year, nearly half a million Filipinos were provided access to potable water supply.
Administrator Orlando Hondrade of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) disclosed in the agency's online news that the completion of the 69 water supply projects was realized with the approval of the P800 million in loans.
Hondrade said that the agency is gearing for more accomplishments this year with the committed funding support from the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) amounting to a total of P2 billion for the development of potable water supply systems especially for the still numerous waterless communities.
He explained that waterless communities are those with less than 50 percent access to safe potable water supply as earlier identified by the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC).
Hondrade disclosed that LWUA was able to complete 69 water supply improvement projects in 2008, including five in erstwhile waterless communities covered by water districts thereby giving access to piped potable water supply to an additional 450,000 provincial residents.
Since the start of the Arroyo administration in 2001, LWUA has already completed a total of 449 water supply improvement projects to include 62 in former waterless communities, he said.
An additional 4.9 million people have been provided access to piped potable water supply during the same period bringing the overall total to more than 15 million nationwide since 1973, Hondrade added.
He revealed that LWUA also approved the grant of P798 million in additional loans to 70 water districts to finance the development or expansion of their water supply systems bringing to P8.5 billion the total loans granted by the agency since 2001.
According to him, the main objective of LWUA for 2009 is the acceleration of the expansion of water service coverage to help achieve the goal of the government of providing water for the entire nation by the year 2010.
This will be achieved through the completion of a total of 258 water supply projects nationwide targeting specifically 119 waterless municipalities and 101 still non-operational water districts to provide access to an additional 560,000 service population, he said.
"This year, LWUA is also geared towards the development of a bulk water supply project to maximize water production", Hondrade said, adding that the agency is starting the sewerage development for a water district on pilot basis to address sanitation and environment concerns to protect natural water resources. (PIA) [top]