In answering “the who and the how” behind sanitation and water quality and safety, webenefit from the groundwork laid at the first National Sanitation Summit.At the first sanitation summit, important steps were taken to articulate the challenges thatyou face as a country and as individual LGUs when it comes to sanitation andwastewater treatment. In fact, I believe you were ahead of many countries then inarticulating the economic justification for greater investments in sanitation andwastewater management. You estimated that the average annual losses to all sectors asa result of poor sanitation was 67 billion pesos. Over the past two years, the AsianDevelopment Bank has been making a similar economic case for sanitation investments.In the publication, Asia Water Watch 2015, which is ADB’s flagship publication on waterand the MDGs, we calculated that
invested in water supply and sanitationreturns
in health and opportunity costs. The time has certainly come for us tomove beyond the question of
why we should invest—
and not just volume, but quality.In the Manila Declaration signed at the first summit, participants acknowledged thatmajor challenge to acting on that economic rational was a lack of leadership for thesanitation and wastewater sector. Specifically, you said there was institutionaluncertainty and variability in the leadership, personalities, and agenda that make up thesector.
III. Who? Leadership from National, Initiative from Local
This brings us back to the two questions we face at this second summit—Who’sresponsible and how do we hold them responsible? The questions are central to reform.The overall spirit of reform calls for leadership at the national level, and initiative at thelocal level. National departments can lead reforms that provide incentives for sanitationand wastewater service providers to improve their coverage rates, quality of wastewaterand innovation. Tomorrow you will hear how Indonesia’s
of Public Worksdemonstrated commitment to
-based sanitaiton.With leadership in place at the national level, the Philippines is in a good position formore initiative at the local levels. The Philippines is already full of local initiative. We’llhear stories of successful initiatives in Dumaguete, General Santos, San Fernando,Masbate, Cabayog, Marikina, and elsewhere in Metro Manila. Each city has focused ona different sanitation and wastewater challenge, but they all began from the same spiritof initiative. Their stories demonstrate how other local governments, water districts andother service providers can take the initiative by implementing programs and standardsthrough local ordinances and codes.
IV. How? Setting performance targets is how.
While leadership and initiative are both necessary, we cannot depend on these twoqualities alone in securing safe water quality and improved sanitation. They do notdetermine how we will hold leaders and providers responsible.What is needed between leadership at the national level and initiative at the local levelare performance targets. I understand that this summit is designed to be action-oriented by dedicating the first day to agreeing on short-term and long-term targets andspending day 2 on detailing the strategy to achieve those targets.