Water to the Philippines
Trends and opportunities
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
- water security, drought management and disaster relive measure
- water sustainability, wastewater management and environmental protection
- business development, private sector participation and financing water
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 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
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
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