Water to the Philippines

Trends and opportunities

The market

The Philippines’s current water supply coverage is 85 per cent with only 67 per cent of the population accessing piped connections. The national average does not reflect the disparity in water access across the country, with one region having only 29 per cent access in contrast to 97 per cent in another region. Urban dwellers enjoy relatively high water coverage compared to rural dwellers. The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) indicated that 4 out of 12 Designated Water Resources Regions (DWRR) have serious water supply issues.

Groundwater in nine major cities is now under stress due to the increasing impact of climate change, pollution and flooding. 12 per cent of the 421 rivers in the country are considered biologically dead and only one third of the river systems/surface water areas are potential sources for drinking water. Groundwater contamination also remains a major issue with up to 58 per cent of groundwater samples that were intended as drinking water supply, being contaminated with total coliform.

Currently, local government units (LGUs) and water districts (WDs) have prioritised water supply investments over sanitation to bridge the significant gap in unmet demand for safe and reliable water.

International Donor Agencies (IDA) are assisting the Philippines in funding larger infrastructure projects. ADB projects in the Philippines amounted to A$ 3.80 billion on water supply and other municipal infrastructure and services including the proposed projects to date.

The Philippine Water Works Association (PWWA), the key industry body in water supply development with both government and private sector representatives, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Australian Water Association (AWA). The MoU seeks to deepen bilateral cooperation to address the Philippines water supply needs through industry expertise exchanges, education and training, and business matching in priority areas, including:

  • safe water supply including introduction of innovative water treatment technology and support for implementing water safety plans
  • water efficiency including asset management, supply, demand planning and non-revenue water
  • water security, drought management and disaster relive measure
  • water sustainability, wastewater management and environmental protection
  • business development, private sector participation and financing water infrastructure.

(Source: National Water Resources Board ) .


The market for water and wastewater treatment products and equipment continues to grow in view of the need to address rapidly increasing water demand and water pollution in the Philippines. The following have been identified as areas of opportunity for Australian expertise and solutions:

  • water infrastructure
  • water resource management
  • rain water harvesting and related technologies
  • geographic Information systems and technologies
  • water and wastewater treatment
  • river basin /watershed/wetlands management
  • sewerage and seepage management

Competitive environment

Water equipment and technology in the Philippines is sourced from Australia, the United States (US), Japan, the United Kingdom (UK) and China. Water companies look at quality, price, availability and after-sales service as prime considerations when purchasing equipment.

Tariffs, regulations and customs

The ASEAN Australian New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) which was implemented in January 2010 reduced tariff rates for imported equipment and supplies. The Philippine Bureau of Customs (BoC) under the Department of Finance (DOF) is the governing agency to implement AANZFTA. The BoC agency constantly liaise with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for the updated Australian signatories of the Certificate of Origin.

Marketing your products and services

Australian companies can be involved in the development of the Philippine water industry by supplying to local water districts, Metro manila concessionaires (Maynilad and Manila Water), and Australian companies already working on projects in the Philippines, IDAs and government projects.

Links and industry contacts

Department of the Interior and Local Government
Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System

Please note: This list of websites and resources is not definitive. Inclusion in this list does not imply endorsement by Austrade. The information provided is a guide only. The content is for information and carries no warranty; as such, the addressee must exercise their own discretion in its use. Australia’s anti-bribery laws apply overseas and Austrade will not provide business related services to any party who breaches the law and will report credible evidence of any breach. For further information, please see foreign bribery information and awareness pack.

Contact details

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