Press Release
August 30, 2012


Stakeholders in the water sector from the public and private sectors applauded Senator Edgardo J. Angara for vowing not to harm or destroy players under the Water Sector Reform Act (WSRA) he authored.

Angara said that proposed water sector reform will improve operations and make water utilities more viable.

"We are trying to rationalize the industry, not to kill it. In fact, the WSRA is intended to strengthen the local water districts," Angara, Chair of the Senate sub-Committee on Water, explained during a recent public hearing.

"Water districts are government owned controlled corporation and are, therefore, governed under the GOCC charter. The advantage of having a sectoral law like WSRA is that you have a specific and more relevant charter for this specific area," he added.

Angara also emphasized that WSRA (SBN 2997) will simplify the governance regime in the water sector to optimize operations. He clarified that it does not mandate the outright abolition or privatization of water districts.

Rather, the measure calls for the amalgamation of water districts into Local Water Supply and Sanitation Companies created under Provincial Water Resource Zones.

In effect, administration of water resources is elevated to the provincial level to take advantage of economies of scale.

"WSRA will provide incentives and financial schemes to encourage consolidation. These provincial water districts will attract more foreign investments and technology transfer compared to smaller operations," Angara said.

"Clean water is both a human right and an economic good. We must manage it very well especially as water grows scarce. As they said at the Clean Enviro Summit in Singapore last June, water will be as expensive as a oil. We must be ready for that eventuality."

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