Household wastewater contributes to 48% of water pollution in the Philippines and the supply of safe drinking water is very limited, especially in rural areas, and water induced diseases are very common. Improperly treated wastewater pose major treats to public health by contaminating groundwater resources. When discharged to the water bodies, such as rivers, lakes and the sea, it can have serious impacts on aquatic/marine habitats and fishing areas.
While the country’s 2004 Clean Water Act mandates that all Local Government Units (LGUs) should share in the responsibility of managing and improving water quality within their territorial jurisdictions within five (5) years, a staggering 94% of urban areas still have not yet comply with the law, posing a big challenge to the government.
Immediately following the Act, San Carlos City started its implementation by seeking assistance to the German Development Service (DED) in the period of 2004-2005. The significance of the German contribution lies in its approached to promote and support in the planning of wastewater management project.
And in 2009, the city, together with the DENR and ECOGOV2, have signed a Memorandum of Agreement to jointly develop and implement Waste Water Management (WWM) interventions for the city. The ECOGOV2 or the Philippine Environmental Governance Project Phase 2 provides technical assistance package that includes training modules, capacity building, cross visits, and practicum on wastewater management. This partnership strengthens the capacity of the LGU to improve wastewater management program.
The program aims to improve the basic conditions for the development of the water sector, to introduce sustainable wastewater management and to develop and distribute customized and low cost technological solutions in order to protect the city’s ground water and marine resources along Tanon Strait and to fulfill the legal requirements of the Republic Act 9275, also known as the Philippine Clean Water Act.
Anticipating compliance of Republic Act 9275 or the Clean Water Act, the city is already in a strategic position towards full blown implementation of wastewater management related projects in various pilot areas such as; city hospital, public market, city abattoir and city’s major resettlement sites. This would include rainwater catchment and sewage collection for a centralized treatment and disposal. The various program of works related to wastewater has been already approved and already for implementation. The matrix below shows some of the approved projects.
Wastewater Management Projects Appropriation:
1. Improvement of City Abattoir Wastewater Treatment Php 483,350.00
2. New City Health Office Wastewater Treatment Facility PhP 280,000.00
3. Rainwater Harvester at the Public Transport Terminal PhP 150,000.00
4. Construction of City Hospital Wastewater Treatment Facility PhP 1,775,000.00
T o t a l Php 2,688,350.00