Press Release
December 9, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Sec. Rogelio Singson to make the water district more friendly to private investment at a recent public hearing on bills regarding reform in the water sector.

Angara referred to Senate Bill No. 2997 or the Water Sector Reform Act of 2011, which he authored. The measure includes among its provisions incentives for private companies such as water sanitation companies, water service providers, licensees, developers and others who wish to invest in the water industry.

"We should encourage the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) and local government units (LGU's) to open up to the private sector through joint ventures," said Angara. "Inviting private sector investment will effectively lessen the burden on the government to finance state enterprises."

Some of the incentives provided for in the bill are income tax holiday for the first 10 years, duty free importation of machinery and equipment for the first ten years, special realty tax rates on equipment, and tax credit on domestic captial equipment, among others.

On top of this, SB 2997 seeks to reform the water sector as a whole by creating new bodies to govern, administer and supervise water allocation, distribution and rationalization. It also includes a provision that mandates the River Basin Organization to engage in flood risk management.

"We have to be realistic--the government alone cannot sustain this reform given our perennial budget deficit," said Angara. "By making the water sector a viable area of investment to private companies, we will also be able to improve the quality of water services delivered to our people."

Angara also authored Senate Bill No. 2641 or the Water Regulatory Act of 2011. Both measures are currently pending before the Committee on Public Service.

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