Philippines: Enhancing Access to and Provision of Water Services with the Active Participation of the Poor


Some 16 million Filipinos do not have access to safe drinking water. This Joint Programme improved delivery of water to 122,000 households by encouraging investment in services for poor communities, increasing local capacities to develop, operate and manage water supply utilities and supporting communications campaigns advocating for "water for all."

The programme supported community-based initiatives to enhance and establish the sustainable delivery of water in depressed communities in five regions. It focused on increasing the capacity of local duty bearers and stakeholders, particularly women, to demand and sustain the delivery of services.

Specific initiatives included:

  1. Complementing government investments in infrastructure with policy and regulatory reforms and capacity building to stimulate investment flows, promote participation, empower duty bearers and claimholders and address socio-economic needs.
  2. Mobilizing grassroots organizations, local government units and other local institutions to ensure access to water for households and community facilities and institutions.
  3. Integrating cost-recovery measures to ensure sustainability.
  4. Testing financing schemes. 

Main achievements included:

  • The programme enhanced access to and provision of water services to “waterless ” areas in 36 municipalities in five regions of the country. Thanks to this partnership, the municipalities were allotted almost USD 8 million by the government for water infrastructure projects.
  • One of the most successful initiatives piloted by the programme was the Localized Customer Service Code (LCSC) for small water systems. An LCSC is a binding social contract between a service provider and its customers that is developed through a consultative and participatory process involving both parties. It reflects the mutually-agreed roles, accountabilities and responsibilities of both the service provider and the consumer in operating and maintaining the water system.
  • The adoption of LCSCs resulted in improvements in the delivery of water services, including increased connection to water services, reasonable tariffs, more effective collection, higher efficiency in water use, improved quality and availability of service, and more active involvement of consumers in the operation and maintenance of the system. 
  • The joint programme also developed policy studies to support scaling-up pro-poor water service delivery. These include recommendations for improving the financing and programming policies in the sector, national and local government cost sharing arrangements for water supply programs for waterless municipalities, and the adjustment of tariff-setting guidelines for small water providers.


Click for more detailed results from the Joint Programmes in the Philippines.



The Joint Programme in action


Programme Dates 01 Jun 2009 - 30 Jun 2013
Net funded amount $5,675,000
Participating UN agencies UNDP, UNICEF
National partners National Economic and Development Authority, Department of Interior and Local Government, National Water Resources Board
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