January 16, 2012
A recently released 15-minute documentary describes how a DAI-led project in the Philippines made it possible for water providers to expand and upgrade their systems, and deliver water services to another 1.8 million people.
The documentary, made by Cinesur Films of Zamboanga for the Philippines Water Revolving Fund project, shows how USAID support was used to mobilize private bank loans to local water services providers, which used the financing to upgrade purification and pumping systems and expand networks to communities that did not have clean, running water.
Previously, the water service providers depended on their own revenue or donor support to undertake capital improvements and system expansions. The project, which is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), designed a revolving fund mechanism that successfully blended private and public sector funding, and provided sufficient guarantees to catalyze loans from private banks to public water service providers.
“In terms of long-term impact, the result is leading to more people with water, [and] that’s significant,” said Rolf Anderson, Chief of the Office of Energy and Environment for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in the Philippines. “It has been fundamentally catalytic and has changed the funding paradigm.”
The program’s first loan—in October 2010 to the Puerto Princesa City Water District for 560 million Philippine pesos, or about US$1.3 million—helped refurbish a system that serves 117,000 people within the municipality. It also supported the development of new water sources, and the expansion of the distribution network to several unserved areas, thereby providing access to 48,000 more people by 2014.
The project has since mobilized around PhP4 billion (US$93 million) in loans for water supply and sanitation projects, of which PhP2.4 billion (US$56 million) came from private commercial banks.
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