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JSPES, Vol. 39, No. 4 (Winter 2014)
pp. 467–493

Protecting the Water Supply: The Philippine Experience

Catherine Roween C. Almaden

Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, The Philippines

In common with many other countries, the Philippines faces major challenges to its water supply due to heavy population increase, destruction of tropical rainforest and catchment areas, severe water pollution, excessive extraction of groundwater, and poor resource management. With a view to conserving the nation’s water resources, the state has assumed ownership of all water resources and has introduced a system of rationing based on tariffs. But despite all regulatory efforts to achieve a socially conscious but effective system of pricing of water, it has had little success in achieving a system that ensures the goal of sustainable raw water resources in the Philippines. This paper describes the regulatory background and analyses the structure and effectiveness of the pricing mechanism. Conflicting roles of the various water regulating agencies are discussed, and the paper concludes with a description of the current challenges and a call for a more effective pricing mechanism.