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2nd Philippine National Sanitation Summit - Welcome Remarks Jain

2nd Philippine National Sanitation Summit - Welcome Remarks Jain

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Published by adbwaterforall
2nd Philippine National Sanitation Summit (9-10 July 2008)
2nd Philippine National Sanitation Summit (9-10 July 2008)

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Published by: adbwaterforall on Jul 13, 2011
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WELCOME REMARKS2
ND
NATIONAL (PHILIPPINES) SANITATION SUMMIT:BETTER WATER QUALITY AND SAFETY THROUGH IMPROVED SANITATIONMr. Neeraj JainCountry DirectorPhilippine Country OfficeSoutheast Asia DepartmentAsian Development BankJuly 9, 2008I. INTRODUCTION
Assistant Secretary Elmer Punzalan, other officials from the national governmentagencies, and local government units, including all Mayors present, distinguishedguests, ladies and gentlemen.Good morning. Welcome to ADB Headquarters. Many of you either flew in or traveled byland for many hours from across the country to be here, and we thank you for your timeand effort. I must also recognize the main convenor of this Summit – the Department ofHealth, in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, withsupport from the League of Cities and donor community and other developmentpartners, whose logos you could see on that backdrop behind me.ADB is particularly pleased that DOH is leading this summit because in our sanitationadvocacy, we espouse a greater role for Health Departments or Ministries in countriesbecause poor sanitation impacts public health, first and foremost.
II. Two Questions for this Summit: Who and How
Water quality is a problem lurking in the pipes of many cities in the Philippines. Theproblem is exposed in regular news reports of outbreaks of waterborne illnesses. It iskilling individuals, and felling hundreds at one time. In the few remaining months of 2007,there was a spate of outbreaks in Northern Samar, Calamba in Laguna, Benguet, andCavite. In the village most affected by the Northern Samar outbreak, health officialsthere said only 3% of villagers had toilets in their homes. In Benguet, watercontamination combined with unhygienic food preparation killed one and downed 45others, most of whom were students. In Cavite and Laguna, about a thousand caseswere reported in an outbreak linked to contaminated water.Two questions are at the heart of this issue. The first question—“
Who 
is responsible forsanitation and water quality and safety ?” I promise I am not going to steal the thunderaway from Dr. Galvez Tan, who will speak in a few moments on that very question. I’mmore interested in the follow-up question. Once we know who is responsible, thequestion that remains is “
How 
do we
hold 
them accountable?”
The views expressed in this paper are the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the AsianDevelopment Bank (ADB), or its Board of Directors, or the governments they represent. ADB does not guarantee the accuracy of thedata included in this paper and accepts no responsibility for any consequences of their use. Terminology used may not necessarily beconsistent with ADB official terms.
 
 
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
every dollar 
invested in water supply and sanitationreturns
six dollars 
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
Ministry 
of Public Worksdemonstrated commitment to
community 
-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.

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