About 70 development bankers, small scale water service providers, cooperatives and NGOs gathered for a 2-day forum in Manila on January 29 and 30, 2009 to hammer out a strategy for mobilizing funds to develop drinking water and sanitation facilities in undeserved or unserved rural and urban poor areas in Asia. Twenty participants, from ADFIAP member-DFIs that signified interest in water financing through a survey conducted earlier by the Association, attended in the forum. These were DFIs from Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.
The forum, a collaborative effort of ADFIAP and USAID’s Environmental Cooperation-Asia (Eco-Asia), was conducted to address the problem of lack of financing that continue to hamper water service providing to poor rural and urban consumers. One of the major results of the event was the development of a program lending scheme that put together three Philippine organizations, namely, the Peoples Credit Finance Corporation (PCFC), the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) and the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP), to work with each other in providing water financing to the sector. Under the scheme, PCFC will provide the wholesale funding through accredited rural banks in the country that will in turn provide direct lending to qualified small scale water providers. LWUA will make available its technical expertise and capacity-building programs to both PCFC and RBAP. These institutions signed a tripartite memorandum of agreement during the forum. It is envisioned that this financing “model” can be replicated in other countries in the region.
Gracing the opening ceremony of the forum were the Philippine’s Department of Finance Undersecretary Jeremias N. Paul, Jr., Office of Energy & Environment of the USAID’s Philippine Office, Mr. Daniel Moore, Regional Advisor for Environmental Health of the World Health Organization, Western Pacific Region, Mr. Terrence Thompson, and Ambassador Jesus P. Tambunting, Chairman and CEO of Planters Development Bank and ADFIAP Director-Treasurer.