Commission on Audit

Several water districts in Mimaropa found without safety plans

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Several water districts in Mimaropa found without safety plans
The identified water districts vowed to comply by coming up with their own safety plans

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) identified six water districts in Mimaropa operating without a Water Safety Plan (WSP) – a government requirement that helps ensure consumers are getting clean drinking water.

According to 2023 audit reports, there were three water districts in Palawan without a WSP, namely: the Culion Water District, Roxas Water District, Taytay Water District. Meanwhile, Pola WD and Pinamalayan in Oriental Mindoro and Odiongan WD in Romblon also failed to create a WSP.

The identified water districts vowed to comply by coming up with their own safety plans.

“[The] absence of [a] WSP may render the water production and distribution vulnerable to risk arising from natural disasters, anthropogenic and other environmental factors that if not effectively addressed or managed could threaten the safe quality of drinking water and public health,” state auditors noted.

A safety plan helps ensure that an area’s water supply is safe for consumption via thorough treatment and it also provides measures to make sure the treated water does not get contaminated again. The COA also pointed out that the WSP could help water districts to create preventive measures to help them handle hazardous events or other supply risks.

The Department of Health (DOH) and the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) require water districts to develop their own WSP. DOH Administrative Order No. 2014-027 cites provisions under the Code on Sanitation of the Philippines, which penalizes those who fail to comply with guidelines by having them be put behind bars for up to six months and/or fine them with P1,000.

Despite not complying with the government’s requirements, COA noted that the six water districts still conducted bacteriological tests and the water treated at their facilities were tested daily to make sure it is safe for consumption.

After being flagged by COA, Odiongan WD submitted its WSP and other documents to the LWUA for review and endorsement to the DOH, while the Taytay WD said it is already working on its own safety plan.

The other four water districts also promised to comply with the DOH and LWUA guidelines. –

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