Press Release
August 2, 2010


Senator Edgardo J. Angara today said that heavy investment in water management is needed to sustain both our environment and meet the demands of economic development especially during this season wherein source for clean water is becoming more scarce and expensive, despite the seasonal rains.

"Climate change, urbanization and the need to feed a growing population have placed a heavy 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 development. More often than not, water sanitation and sewerage systems in the country is overlooked and neglected," said Angara who chaired the 14th Congress' Senate Committee on Finance.

Angara called for public-private partnerships to fill the massive capital outlay required to improve the country's water infrastructure.

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."

The UN Independent Expert on human rights, water, and sanitation, issued a statement which states that the declaration predicted well for the summit at UN Headquarters in New York in September, where world leaders are set to review progress toward the social and economic targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Studies indicate that an absence of clean water or sanitation exacts a huge human toll. About 1.5 million children under the age of five die each year and 443 million school days are lost because of water- and sanitation-related diseases.

Angara said that 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.

Moreover, alarmed with the increasing number of poor Filipino families affected by diseases caused by water pollution and poor sanitation Angara now calls for more investment in water sanitation and sewerage system by intensifying our efforts and start bringing the task of managing water resources and regulating water use down to the provincial, city, town and barangay levels.

"Technology has solved the problem of having to choose between economic development, on the one hand, and environmental sustainability, on the other. The obstacle now lies in a more fundamental level, and that is in mustering the political will to invest and implement it." Angara said.

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