Press Release
May 6, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara reiterated his call to improve the country's water and sanitation infrastructure in light of a recent announcement that Australia has extended a grant through the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to finance trust funds for water infrastructure and clean energy initiatives.

The grant, worth A$ 21.584, will be used to help finance projects that will bring water sanitation and clean energy to areas in Asia and the Pacific. Angara said that the ADB, which is actively supporting many projects in the country, will be open to help finance similar projects the country.

Angara, Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), recently held a conference called Water W.A.T.C.H. (Wise Adaptation of Technologies for Clean H2O), to promote the deployment of the latest in new technologies and best practices for water resource management in light of numerous studies that show that there could be a worldwide water crisis due to climate change.

"We have to dispel the prevailing notion that we have adequate water supply to last for generations. The truth is that some areas have an abundance of clean water while some areas are arid. Innovative water management now becomes essential, and the best way to do this is by utilizing science and technology to properly distribute and manage our water resources," Angara stated.

Angara stated that, "Public-Private Partnerships have the potential to play a key factor here. Since the government can only move so fast, a swift and sure solution would be for LGU's to reach out to private funding institutions to develop the necessary infrastructure in water and sanitation and lessen our yearly losses."

According to Angara, "the water crisis is a silent crisis in the Philippines, because issues concerning water have long been neglected. And yet, it encompasses a myriad of problems that affect our bid towards sustainable development. "

"Water is a health issue. More than a third of diseases in the Philippines are water-borne. It is a food security issue. Rice, our staple food, is heavily dependent on water. Approximately 3,000 liters of water is needed to grow one kilogram of rice. And because more than a third of our labor force depend on agriculture, water also affects rural livelihood, and development in the countryside," he added.

Angara said that "our failure to recognize issues concerning water has affected the quality of life of most Filipinos. The UN has ranked the Philippines as 84th out of 177 countries in the Human Development Report, and one of the main reasons for this is the poor distribution of water and sanitation in the country."

"We've got to start taking action against the water crisis. According to the Asian Development Bank, river and groundwater systems in the Philippines will fail by 2025, unless we start cleaning up our act now," Angara said.

Angara said that science and innovative technology can provide solutions to the water crisis.

"We now have technologies that address our problems on water. Some, like rain harvesting systems in India and Japan, have existed for hundreds of years. What we need is a sound strategy on how to use these technologies to ensure adequate water supply that is clean and healthful," Angara said.

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