^

Business

Salceda seeks private sector investments in irrigation

Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star
Salceda seeks private sector investments in irrigation
Rep. Joey Salceda, a top economist and chairman of the House ways and means committee, yesterday said the private sector should look into investing in water supply for irrigation systems in the countryside.
STAR / Crisanta Elena Lopez, file

MANILA, Philippines — A prominent lawmaker has urged the private sector to invest in water distribution projects for the farm sector to meet the growing demand for irrigation.

Rep. Joey Salceda, a top economist and chairman of the House ways and means committee, yesterday said the private sector should look into investing in water supply for irrigation systems in the countryside.

He said more than 70 percent of water demand in the Philippines goes to agriculture, but most of the investments in the sector are allocated for household and industrial use.

“At present, investments appear to be lacking, if I’m to be asked, in the irrigation of farms, which require 70 percent of the water in the whole country,” Salceda said in a forum.

“That’s where the private sector needs to mobilize because irrigation accounts for 70 percent of the entire water utilization. Potable water is 20 percent, industry is 10 percent,” he said.

He said  the Philippines uses up to 30.65 billion cubic meters of water every year, and agriculture takes up 22.68 billion cubic meters of this requirement.

Further, Salceda said the reallocation of private funds to water projects in the farm sector raises the necessity of putting up the Department of Water Resources. He said the new agency would be tasked to explore innovations and mechanisms in which the private sector can maximize its resources.

“That is why we need this department to explore innovative mechanisms that will allow private sector participation. The private sector has the money, the state has too many expenses. What we need is a mechanism which will link sustainable water resources with private players in the industry,” he said.

Salceda said the Philippines has about 146 billion cubic meters of untapped water resources. More than 86 percent of it, or 125.8 billion cubic meters, are surface water, while the remaining 20.2 billion cubic meters are ground water.

Last week the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center reported there are at least 57 projects worth P7.17 trillion that the agency is presently evaluating.

From these 57 projects under assessment, the PPP Center said four of them are in water supply and sanitation. Washington-based World Bank, for its part, has been recommending to governments to consider PPP as a mode of investment for putting up water facilities.

JOEY

Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Recommended
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with