Carrera por el derecho al agua potable


Running for the right to drink safe water

By Sunshine Lichauco de Leon

Philippine Daily Inquirer

Almost 16 million Filipinos still do not have access to safe and clean drinking water, according to last year’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) progress report. If water is the root of life, then one out of five Filipinos is being deprived of a basic need and a basic human right.

But now, thanks to a successful collaboration between government, private sector, nongovernment organizations (NGOs) and the Millennium Development Goals Fund (MDGF) Philippines, Filipinos will have a chance to do something to change this situation.

Philippine Water Runs (PWR 11), a series of “fun runs” scheduled in major cities around the Philippines, hopes to raise funds which will provide immediate solutions to those families most in need. It also seeks to make people aware of the importance of access to clean water.

The initial run will be in the City of Vigan in Ilocos Sur next month and organizers expect a minimum of 5,000 participants. It will be followed by fun runs in five cities in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

The program is being spearheaded by Erwin Po of Veepo Global Resources, Ani de los Reyes of E-ventologists and Roger N. Frias in partnership with the MDGF 1919, a program designed to enhance the provision of water services to waterless communities. The lead agency for the partnership mechanism whose goal is to accelerate achievement of the MDGs is the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).

“We believe that sustainable provision of access to potable water is not only the government’s responsibility. It works to partner with the private sector through its various policies and advocacies,” says Neda Director Roderick Planta, coordinator for the MDGF 1919.

The MDGF 1919 is one of four achievement-fund programs in the country being funded by the Spanish government and administered by the United Nations.

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