Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Numbers
Do not have access
to sanitary toilets
Diarrhea cases resulting to 14 deaths
as of 2019
3 out of 10
Health care facility
lack access to clean
Typhoid Fever cases
resulting to 30 deaths as of 2019
We shall not defeat any of the infectious diseases that plague the developing world until we have also won the battle for safe drinking water, sanitation, and basic health care. – Kofi Annan Seventh Secretary General of the United Nations
Water Sanitation & Hygiene
The Philippines has met the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for water and has made good progress toward the MDG for sanitation. The human rights to water and sanitation have been recognized by the Philippines since 2009 and they are noted in Republic Act 9710, which focuses on marginalized groups, including women. Section 20.b.5 recognizes that women have equal rights to the “enjoyment, use and management of water” and Section 21 of the Act notes, “The State shall develop housing programs for women that are localized, simple, accessible, with potable water…” Additionally, the Philippines recognizes 14 disadvantaged groups that are specifically targeted for universal access to water and sanitation. These groups include poor populations, people living with disabilities, women, farmers, fishermen, migrant workers and workers in the informal sector.
Universal access is also the theme of the Philippines’ two main policies for water and sanitation. The Philippine Water Supply Sector Roadmap and the Philippine Sustainable Sanitation Sector Roadmap each have targets of 100%, by 2025 for water and by 2028 for sanitation. Both of the plans have been costed and are at least being partially, if not fully, implemented.
In the Philippines water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are all led by the Department of Health. Seven other departments are involved in the WASH sector including the Department of Interior and Local Government, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Education. Coordination mechanisms exist for all stakeholders in the WASH sector, including nongovernmental actors. The coordination mechanisms are the Interagency Committee on Environment and Health, which meets as needed, and the Philippine Development Forum—Working Group on WASH, which meets quarterly.
While human resources strategies exist for water, sanitation and hygiene, not all of the gaps have been filled. This is an issue at the local government level where positions for provincial or city sanitary engineers do not exist; legislation would be needed to create such positions. Because these positions do not exist, emigration has become a major constraint to WASH human resources. Additionally, the lack of colleges or universities offering courses related to WASH and the lack of promotion of WASH related courses to attract more students are also issues. An area where the lack of human resources is noticed is in rural water quality testing. Rural drinking-water quality is not usually tested due to a lack of staff and the prohibitive costs of testing all water quality parameters.
Source of information: UN Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water
What We Plan To Do
By working with key stakeholders and partners in the public and private sectors, Spiritus Vitae will contribute to improving access to safely managed drinking water and sanitation services among poor communities, schools, and health facilities.
We will harness partners’ capacity for innovative solutions for affordable but quality WASH services. We will work with local health workers and school workers to conduct good health-seeking behavior campaigns to increase demand for WASH services and uptake of hygienic practices among the target groups.
We will collaborate with LGUs and local health workers in building capacity for Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach to address open defecation.
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