Continuous and rapidly expanding of human population is one of the main issues of why Philippines is currently facing scarcity of having safe drinking water. As it continue to grow each year, demand for the supply of water by industry, commercial, agriculture and domestic sectors also increase.
Though, considered as the most abundant compound and main constituent of Earth, and Philippines, despite of being situated in a location where natural resources endow, potable water is still in need by the Filipinos to provide for their daily supply of water. In fact, only 84.1% of the population or 77 million Filipinos have attained access to safe drinking water. How about those remaining 15.9%?
Water, being as one’s necessity and essential need in making and cooking our daily food, must be safe to maintain the cleanliness and nutrients of the food. However, providers of safe drinking water are not enough and different issues are faced by them confronting the source of water.
Some of these are issues concerning the sources of water, while some are regarding about the water quality standards.
The reasons why Philippines is currently facing scarcity regarding water supply aside from the continuous expanding of the population is the problem with degradation of forest watershed in the country. The Philippines freshwater ecosystem is currently facing severe issues of pollution that causes to the rising costs of potable water.
Meanwhile, according to Agnes C. Rola, a member also of NAST PHL, if good governance is adopted in the Philippines, it “will contribute to the sustainable water supply and the related MDGs of water and sanitation by the poor, and most especially, attainment of food security.”
She also cited some ways to move forward towards good water governance. She said a proposal must be put forward for an Integrated Water Resources Management that will define a one vision and one goal to good water governance. Another is a “realistic water pricing scheme that reflects the scarcity of water as well its marginal benefits.” The last way she shared was the partnership between private and community sectors. She said that if good governance (cooperation and coordination) is practiced among the different stakeholders, both the consumers and suppliers will benefit.
According to Dr. Ernesto J. del Rosario, a member of NAST PHL, all WSPs that includes water districts, bottled drinking water manufacturers, refilling stations and small bottlers must review the existing policies regarding the quality of drinking water and monitoring procedures. Department of Health (DOH) must improved their way of monitoring of refilling stations and all bottled water manufacturers by upgrading their guidelines and equipments to secure the safety of the people.
Water is a basic right of a human that he must and should attain and enjoy. However, many Filipinos are not able to access this right, especially the poor, because of the different issues regarding in providing and supplying of water. But Rola is positive that if Philippines adopt the good governance, it will able to surpass issues and problems regarding the scarcity of water and every Filipinos are able to attain and access water in their homes. (Alicia Angelica L. Villanueva)