USAID-funded “Safe Water Project” to give safe drinking water, sanitation services to 350,000 individiauls in Palawan, Negros, Sarangani

June 20, 2022

The United States-funded Safe Water Project (SWP) will be implemented by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to give access to safe drinking water and sanitation services to 350,000 individuals in Palawan, Negros Occidental, and Sarangani.


Project components include a technical assistance (TA) on water chlorination for LGUs and water districts and TA to Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) on septage management.


The septate management covers the Supreme Court Mandamus for Manila Bay area.
Other components are exploration on diversifying surface bulk water supply in Negros Occidental and assistance in water security plans for Negros Occidental and Sarangani.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has been prompted by water security challenges in the Philippines including a “growing population, unsustainable land uses, deficient wastewater management.”

“At the center of these challenges are the need for adequate supply of clean drinking water which has become increasingly elusive in many parts of the country, elimination of open defecation, especially in poorer communities, and increased access to safely managed sanitation services,” reported DENR Project Evaluation Officer Israel Helios S. Inocencio.

Climate change, typhoons, droughts, and diseases like Covid 19 are further worsening the level of stress from these water supply threats.These threaten watersheds and the integrity of water and sanitation infrastructure.

Total project cost is P922 million– equivalent to a grant of $18 million from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The Philippine government shoulders a fund equivalent to not less than one-third (P307 million) of the USAID grant.

The project employs the Integrated and Inclusive Water Security (IIWS) framework. This is part of the long term goal to protect the upstream water resources — the forests–where the water comes from. The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) is a co-implementor of the project.

As such a highlight of the SWP is a livelihood component.

In this livelihood lineup is an ube production training for people’s organizations (POs) in Narra, Palawan. It involves private company Sunlight Corp.
Another livelihood component is training for the use of starter kits and farm tools for the ECLOF Organic Farm, a non-profit microfinance institution.

Negros Occidental Rep. Kiko Benitez listens to a presentation on Safe Water Project

Profiling of a PO in Sarangani for enterprise development will also be implemented. An estimated 150,000 people will be the livelihood beneficiaries.

Profiling of a PO in Sarangani for enterprise development will also be implemented. An estimated 150,000 people will be the livelihood beneficiaries.
A total of $20 million will be mobilized as investment for the sustainable environment operation.

The project will empower local government units (LGUs), water service providers, and watershed councils on the sustainable management of water resources.
Other beneficiaries are communities in Region 4-B (Mimaropa, Mindoro Marinduque, Romblon) , Region 6 (Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo) and Region 12 ( Cotabato, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat).

The Safe Water Roadmap will provide 350,000 people access to safely managed drinking water services . A total of 1.1 million people will receive improved service quality from an existing safely managed drinking water services.
An estimated one million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced due to sustainable landscapes system.

Assistance on the setup of a Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) will be extended to Puerto Princesa and Quezon in Palawan, Bago and Kabankalan in Negros Occidental and Sarangani.
The Safe Water Project is being implemented over five years until 2024. (Melody Mendoza Aguiba)

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