Pricing Reforms for Sustainable Water Use and Management in the Philippines

The Philippines is endowed with abundant natural water features, including more than 400 rivers, 50 natural lakes and 100,000 hectares of freshwater swamps. In addition, numerous dams and the high levels of precipitation on many islands offer the promise that the large population’s water needs can be adequately met. Despite this, the Philippines faces acute challenges from climatic variability and in managing water resources to meet competing needs for water use. Indeed, the Philippines’ resource base faces growing pressures from rapid socioeconomic changes across the islands, and as a consequence, water quality has deteriorated and become a serious concern. These challenges are exacerbated by inappropriate pricing with substantial subsidies allocated to service providers. Further, the current policy context is characterized by jurisdictional fragmentation, and the sector faces significant financial, regulatory, coordination, and data barriers to reform. Download the full working paper. Download the 2-page summary of the working paper.