Press Release
May 6, 2011


In a bid to guarantee zero safe water backlog in all barangays nationwide and save millions of Filipinos from water-borne diseases, Senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. pressed for the amendment of the Presidential Decree no. 198, otherwise known as the Provincial Water Utilities Act.

The senator stressed that some 16 million Filipinos from 432 waterless municipalities outside Metro Manila have no access to adequate safe drinking water, greatly contributing to the incidence of water-borne diseases such as typhoid fever, amoebiasis and diarrhea. He cited as example the recent contamination of the main water source in a barangay in Cagayan de Oro which caused the death of five residents and illness of 20 others. Based on news reports, the poor sanitation in the area caused the water contamination and health officials believe that human and animal waste may have seeped into the residents' drinking water.

"Dirty water kills. Ironically, the Philippines is a water-rich country and yet we cannot supply our people with adequate water. Through an improved water utility system, economic growth in a community speeds up, safeguards public health, and protects the well-being of the citizenry," said Bong Revilla, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Works.

The lawmaker explained that the long-term benefits can be derived by communities, particularly those in the provinces, for having a water district. "Water users are provided a first line of defense against water-borne diseases such as amoebiasis and typhoid fever since only disinfected and potable water is made available to every concessioner's home. Residents from far flung villages in the rural areas would no longer face the risk of fetching and using water from community wells and springs that may be unsafe," he said.

He stressed the need to pass his bill that would provide funds for the Local Water Utility Administration (LWUA) purposely to install facilities in the countryside that will manage and supply water. The LWUA is a specialized lending institution mandated by law to promote and oversee the development of provincial waterworks systems in the country. "Adequate water service is necessary for the acceleration of socio-economic development in the every community."

Bong filed Senate Bill no. 23 that would increase the authorized capitalization of Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) from 2.5 billion pesos to 25 billion pesos to enable it to further spread the benefits of improved potable water systems. The LWUA, established by virtue of P.D. 198, is a specialized lending institution mandated to promote and oversee the development of provincial waterworks systems in the country. "Cognizant of the urgency, the necessity, and the vital role that improved water supply systems play in the over-all socio-economic progress of the nation, there is a need for LWUA to increase its capitalization," he pointed out.

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