Philippines

NEDA backs eco-efficient infra development to improve climate change resiliency, water security

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From the National Economic and Development Authority

The Philippine government, as embodied in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP), has adopted the ecologically and economically efficient (“eco-efficient”) concept in the development of water infrastructure as an overarching strategy towards the pursuit of water security, and, through innovative interventions and technologies, as an important approach to dealing with the challenges of climate change.

This is in recognition that despite the Philippines being blessed with abundant water resources, increasing demand, and competing use have resulted to water supply shortages. While the increasing frequency and intensity of rainfall could augment water supply during dry months, excess water has not been taken advantage of and efficiently utilized. Instead, extreme rainfall has resulted in flooding and damages.

“We see the mainstreaming of eco-efficient water infrastructure (EEWIN) as a strategy to help enhance our country’s competitiveness by helping increase the efficiency and productivity of our growth sectors,” said NEDA Deputy Director-General for Investment Programming Rolando G. Tungpalan.

“We have been advocating the development and mainstreaming of EEWIN, which utilizes water resources in an economically-efficient and environment-friendly way, in the planning and project preparation processes, such as in the design of infrastructure,” the NEDA official added.

In February 2013, the NEDA Board – Committee on Infrastructure (INFRACOM) directed all relevant and water-related agencies to mainstream the eco-efficient concept in their proposed/identified activities, programs, and projects, and tasked NEDA to disseminate EEWIN key principles and standards for reference of concerned agencies.

To comply with this INFRACOM directive and facilitate said mainstreaming, NEDA developed appropriate information, education, and communication (IEC) materials on EEWIN, with the objective of providing implementing agencies, local government units (LGUs), and other stakeholders with model EEWIN technologies/innovations that can be replicated or adopted in designing their own activities, programs, and projects.

EEWIN was presented during the March 18, 2015 Symposium on Water Security Towards Sustainable Development, an activity spearheaded by the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) as part of the World Water Week 2015 celebration.

Successful and replicable EEWIN projects developed by agencies and institutions, such as the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM), Department of Science and Technology – Region 7 (DOST-7), Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), City Government of Muntinlupa, SM Malls, and Ayala Land, Inc., were showcased, with emphasis on their advantages and benefits, to inspire stakeholders to welcome innovation in their planning and design processes.

“With this approach, we can ensure the availability of water at this time and for future generations while building on the needed infrastructure to ultimately achieve a high, sustained, and inclusive growth,” the NEDA official explained.

Consistent with the concept of value engineering/value analysis (VE/VA), EEWIN aims to optimize resources and investments, reduce overall life-cycle costs, and expand the functionality of a project, without compromising its intended objectives.

“When applied to infrastructure development, eco-efficiency means being able to do more with less cost and with lower negative effect on the environment,” the NEDA official emphasized.

Video: Eco-efficient Water Infrastructure for Water Sustainability