Central Philippine University

by Mikee N. Norico, BA Comm-4, Centralian Link Intern

World Bank representatives with the panelists and the CPU committee members that planned the event.

In a concerted effort to address the pressing issues surrounding sustainable water supply and sanitation in the Philippines, Central Philippine University (CPU) partnered with the World Bank to convene the Philippines Economic Update (PEU) Development Dialogues. The significant forum, held last March 11, 2024 at the CPU Henry Luce III Library, served as a pivotal platform for meaningful discussions among key stakeholders.

Spearheaded by the World Bank, the biannual initiative has emerged as a cornerstone event for discussing vital development issues within the Philippines. Aligned with the launch of the Philippines Economic Update, the latest edition of the PEU underscored the contextual landscape, challenges, and policy options concerning sustainable water supply and sanitation services.

The event kicked off with opening remarks from Dr. Ernest Howard B. Dagohoy, President of Central Philippine University, setting the stage for a day of insightful discussions.

Mr. Ralph van Doorn, Senior Country Economist for the World Bank in the Philippines, presented the World Bank’s outlook on the Philippines for the upcoming years. Highlighting the nation’s resilience amidst a global slowdown, van Doorn underscored the projected growth trajectory for the Philippines, emphasizing the importance of addressing high inflation and providing assistance to vulnerable sectors.

Panelists share their insights and reactions on the Philippines Economic Update Development Dialogues, emphasizing the critical need for sustainable water supply and sanitation solutions in the country.

Following van Doorn’s presentation, Ma. Fiorella “Lala” Fabella, Senior Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist at the World Bank, delved into the critical topic of water security and climate adaptation. Fabella underscored the essential role of universal access to resilient and safely managed water supply and sanitation in driving human development and poverty reduction.

Fabella’s discussion shed light on the stark reality facing many communities in the Philippines, where access to safe water and sanitation remains a challenge. With images depicting water delivery through containers and inadequate sanitation facilities, Fabella highlighted the urgent need for action to strengthen water security and climate resilience.

After the two presentations, a panel discussion followed led by the following reactors: Engr. Arecio Casing, Jr., NEDA Regional Director; Dr. Raul Banias, Provincial Administrator, IIoilo Province; Engr. Neil Ravena, Head, General Services Office, Iloilo City. The discussion was ably moderated by Dr. Renia Dela Peǹa, Program Head, CPU DMPM and MPA Programs.

Over 100 representatives from various sectors participated in the event, both in-person and virtually. The PEU Development Dialogues aimed to foster collaboration in finding solutions to ensure sustainable access to water and sanitation for all Filipinos.

The Philippines Economic Update Development Dialogues signify a collective effort to tackle the complex challenges surrounding water supply and sanitation in the country. By fostering dialogue and collaboration among key stakeholders, the event aims to contribute to lasting positive impacts on the nation’s development landscape. At the forum end, stakeholders remain committed to exploring innovative strategies and policy interventions to ensure sustainable access to water and sanitation for all Filipinos.

CPU and World Bank are thankful to the committee headed by Dr. Rowena Libo-on for the planning and implementation of the event. The emcee of the program was Dr. Althea Denuevo.