FAR-FLUNG communities in the country’s poorest provinces may soon enjoy access to safe drinking water after the government approved the release of P565 million to the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) for the continued development of potable water supply systems in selected provinces.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said the fund release, which was sourced from LWUA’s Regular Appropriations under the 2014 National Budget, will support efforts on water source development and the construction of pumping stations and pipelines.
The amount will also cover the development of Level III water supply systems, or the actual service connection of individual households to the water supply, it said.
The budget agency said the fund release will support the development of water supply facilities in a total of 38 water districts in 10 provinces.
These provinces are Abra, Kalinga, Masbate, Camarines Sur, Western Samar, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, Zamboanga del Norte, Surigao del Norte, and Surigao Del Sur.
A water district is defined by LWUA as a local corporate entity that operates and maintains a water supply system in one or more provincial cities or municipalities.
“Ensuring better access to quality health services—such as safe drinking water—is one of the keystones of our development agenda. This applies most especially to our poorest provinces, where there isn’t enough potable water to go around,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said.
“We have given the LWUA the go signal to develop these water systems and bring reliable and sustainable water supply services to communities in need.
“In the short term, we’re after the immediate improvement of health and sanitation conditions in these areas. Ultimately, our goal is—as always—to enhance the overall standard of living for the country’s poorest,” he added.