The National Anti-Poverty Commission has vowed to accelerate the provision of access to clean and safe water in waterless communities through the Sagana at Ligtas na Tubig sa Lahat (Salintubig) program, a water supply project jointly implemented by NAPC and three other agencies, NAPC Secretary and Lead Convenor Liza Maza said.
NAPC serves as the national coordinating agency of Salintubig, while the DILG is the lead implementing body. The Department of Health and the Local Water Utilities Administration are also partner agencies of the project, which aims to increase access of poor and waterless communities to access to safe and clean water through grant financing and capacity development of LGUs and Water Service Providers (WSPs).
In an island-wide assessment workshop on February 13 to 14, the agencies reported that 262 projects out of the 455 municipalities identified by NAPC in 2011 have already been completed. Out of these 455, 167 are considered graduates which passed the above 50% mark of access rate for poor households. Based on recent data, there are additional 44 waterless municipalities identified, bringing the new total target waterless municipalities to 332.
“We need to speed-up the process as there are still significant inequalities in coverage, especially in poor rural communities. NAPC will be working closely with partner agencies and the LGUs to address the issues that are causing delays in project implementation,” the NAPC chief said.
One of the assessments points during workshop was the need to operationalize the program’s monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system. It was recommended that the NAPC will lead the M&E and the targeting of recipient communities, and the short-term and long-term impacts of the program.
While access to safe water supply have been improving since the 2000s, some 1.2 million households still have no access to safe water, according to the 2014 Annual Poverty Indicators Survey.
This underscores the need to implement the program within a human rights-based framework that puts emphasis on non-discrimination, people’s participation, and accountability, said NAPC Secretary Liza Maza. “No one should be denied the right to water and sanitation especially the poor and the marginalized,” the anti-poverty chief said.
Water is one of the 10 basic needs of poor Filipinos in NAPC’s anti-poverty campaign, Kilos Sambayanan (Kilos para sa Sampung Batayang Pangangailangan), along with food and land reform, shelter, work, healthcare, education, social protection, healthy environment, peace, and people’s participation. ###