Press Release
July 30, 2010


Senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. expressed support to the recent declaration of the United Nations General Assembly that access to clean water and sanitation is a human right, as he pushed anew his bill that would intensify the development of the waterworks system in the country, particularly in the remote villages in the provinces.

According to the senator, the UN General Assembly's declaration is appropriate considering that access to clean water and sanitation is still a problem in many countries, including the Philippines . "The UN declaration would intensify global efforts to help countries, including the Philippines , in need of improved waterworks system. Effective water service is deemed necessary for the acceleration of socio-economic development of every community in all nations," said Bong Revilla.

The 192-member Assembly adopted a resolution acknowledging that acknowledging that safe, clean drinking water and sanitation are integral to the realization of all human rights. It expressed alarm that some 884 million people were without access to safe potable water and more than 2.6 billion lacked access to basic sanitation. It also disclosed that 1.5 million children under five years old died each year as a result of water- and sanitation-related diseases.

"Here in the Philippines , many residents still have no sufficient access to adequate supply of safe potable water. This greatly contributes to the incidence of water-borne greatly contributing to the incidence of water-borne diseases such as typhoid fever, amoebiasis and diarrhea. Through an improved water utility system, economic growth in a community speeds up and it also safeguards public health," the lawmaker explained.

In a bid to guarantee zero safe water backlog in every barangays nationwide, Bong Revilla refilled a bill that seeks to increase the authorized capitalization of Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), the specialized lending institution mandated to promote and oversee the development of provincial waterworks systems in the country. Under Senate Bill no. 23, LWUA's authorized capitalization will be increased from 2.5 billion pesos to 25 billion pesos to enable it to further spread the benefits of improved potable water systems. "Long-term benefits can be derived by communities in the provinces for having a water district, in terms health and sanitation," he pointed out.

He cited the 2009 research of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) that bared that clean water supply in the Philippines is fast deteriorating with rapid urbanization, and that only about 33 percent of river systems are still suitable as clean and safe supply source of water, and up to 58 percent of the country's groundwater are now contaminated. "We must act as soon as possible before its too late. I firmly believe that increasing the authorized capitalization of LWUA is one of the ways to address this problem," Bong Revilla added.

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