The Filipino People’s Water Code

March 23, 2023

by IBON Foundation

Water is life. More than anything else, people need water to physically survive. Further, people need water for a better quality of life – for sanitation, for food production, for production of basic needs, for leisure, and more.

The Philippines has abundant water resources, much more than Thailand, China, or India. Access to potable water should not be a problem for its people but the majority of people face water scarcity, which will increase further in the near future.

Over and above problems of environmental conservation, over-consumption, and degradation of water resources, the people face a fundamental problem of inequity in access to water whether for individual household use or for livelihood as irrigation for farmers or aquatic resources for fishing.

Now the Filipino people face an even greater danger as neo-liberal policies of privatization, deregulation, and liberalization are being implemented in various sectors, including the water sector of the country. Water supply infrastructure like dams, and water utilities and services are turned over to global transnational corporations (TNCs) and their local partners.

Consequently, water has become a commodity for TNC profit. Water resources are now under the control of corporations and allocated for their needs instead of fulfilling the basic human needs for water by the people. As a result of their commercial priorities and increase in water rates, the poor and marginalized sectors that comprise the majority of the people are principally victimized and lose access to water.