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Philippines: toolbox for rural water utilities launched

The Philippines and the World Bank have created the Rural Water Supply (RWS) manual for small-scale providers. Photo: Department of Interior & Local Government(DILG).

The Philippine government – together with the World Bank, the United Nations through the Millennium Development Goal Achievement Fund (MDG-F) and other development partners – have launched a ‘local water governance toolbox’. The toolbox is aimed at small-scale water service providers (SSWPs) with less than 5,000 connections.

Otherwise known as “Tubig Yaman,” this new set of manuals and knowledge products on water and sanitation was unveiled at the ‘Water Knowledge Fair’ held in Manila in celebration of World Water Day. The manuals present a coherent set of guidelines that hopefully will help overcome operational difficulties and sustainability issues, which occur due to flaws in design assumptions, deficiencies in construction, and poor knowledge on operation and maintenance.

The Local Water Governance Toolbox was developed under the MDG-F programme on Enhancing Access to and Provision of Water Services with the Active Participation of the Poor (MDGF-1919) with funding from the Spanish Government through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Part of the toolbox is the Rural Water Supply (RWS) manual developed to guide operators, managers, government planners and contractors in designing better rural water systems. The three-part manual can be downloaded from the World Bank web site:

Rural Water Supply Manual

The manual deals mainly with technical issues, but the 3rd volume includes a useful overview of institutional models and arrangements, plus practical guidelines on administration, commercial operations and financial management.

Even though the Philippines is on track to meet its MDG target for water, almost 16 million Filipinos are still unable to access safe drinking water. SALINTUBIG is a government implementation and capacity building programme that aims to provide water systems to 455 unserved municipalities, barangays (villages), health centres and resettlement sites

In October 2011, President Aquino issued Executive Order 62 mandating the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to lead an inter-agency committee to develop a water resources sector master plan that will effectively address issues and challenges in the water sector.

The committee comprising National Economic and Development Authority and other agencies is also tasked to recommend institutional reforms to ensure effective implementation of the master plan.

Source: World Bank, 22 Mar 2012

About dietvorst

Information Specialist and Editor of E-Source, IRC, The Hague, The Netherlands

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