“Through our partnership with the Philippine government, more than 1.3 million Filipinos have gained access to improved sanitation and over 1.5 million more now have access to safe and clean drinking water,” United Stated Ambassador Sung Kim said on Wednesday in his keynote address during the finale ceremony of US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Water Security for Resilient Economic Growth and Stability Project (Be Secure).
In observance of World Water Day on March 22, Kim joined Philippine government representatives to celebrate the success of Be Secure, a P966-million program that increased access to safe water and sanitation in the Visayas and Mindanao regions.
Initiated in 2013, Be Secure implemented a four-year partnership between USAID and the Department of Public Works and Highways to promote good governance, improve access to water and sanitation and enhance resilience to variances in weather and climate trends in the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo and Zamboanga and in the provinces of Basilan, Maguindanao and Leyte.
During the ceremony, the USAID also awarded warranties for water systems at 10 sites, including schools and health clinics tahat cover the cost of possible damage from future typhoons and floods.
The US agency coordinated with national government agencies, local governments, water utilities, private sector, media, non-government organizations and academic institutions in implementing Be Secure, which will officially close in July 2017.