Vice President Jejomar C. Binay said lack of access to potable water shows that poverty is still rampant in the country.
“Who has no water? Not the rich living in subdivisions but the poor, informal settlers who depend on a few taps or water pumps and those living in remote communities,” Binay said in his speech during the regional convention of the Southern Tagalog Association of Water Districts.
He said that as of 2010, 16 percent of Filipino households lacked access to clean and potable water. Government data also showed that 1,353 barangays from 455 municipalities have no access to clean water.
He added that lack of clean water also has an impact on the health of the community.
“The people can avoid a number of ailments if they have clean and potable water,” Binay pointed out.
“Kaugnay nito, layunin natin na magkaroon ng malinis na tubig ang bawat barangay, kahit level II man lang para sa mga lugar kung saan mahirap ang water source. Kasabay ng pagpakabit ng gripo, layon din namin na mabigyan ng mga kubeta ang 7 milyong Pilipinong walang maayos na palikuran at turuan sila ng pangangalaga sa kalusugan (In this regard, it is our aim to provide clean water to all barangays, especially where water is scarce. We also aim to provide toilets for seven million Filipinos),” he added.
According to Binay, the country’s water problems can be traced to the lack of waste management and sewage treatment facilities needed to produce clean water.
“Here in the Philippines, the water problem relates more to the lack of quality rather than quantity. The absence of waste management and sewage treatment facilities in most provinces and municipalities has resulted in the improper disposal of household, industrial, and agricultural wastes that have seriously affected the quality and availability of ground and surface water in the country, especially near major metropolitan areas,” he said.
“Uneven distribution of water resources, lack of quality water, lack of adequate water infrastructures, massive degradation of watersheds and river basins, deforestation, pollution as well as climate change are the challenges that we need to face,” he added.