Coca-Cola Philippines reaffirmed its commitment to providing clean and safe water to the country’s vulnerable communities with a ceremonial visit today to the P4WatER project, which launched in 2021.
This project is a result of the partnership between Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines Inc. (CCFPI), the company’s social investment arm in the Philippines, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Federation of Multisectoral Alliance for Development-Negros (MUAD-Negros), and the local government of Negros Occidental.
P4Water, or Partnership for Water and Economic Resilience, is a four-year partnership that aims to provide safe water access to underserved communities in Negros Occidental through watershed conservation initiatives.
“Water is essential for life, for nature and for every community. As a beverage company, Coca-Cola also depends on water to operate our business,” said Tony del Rosario, Coca-Cola Philippines President. “This is why responsible water management remains a top priority for us at Coca-Cola. Our continuing partnership with USAID, MUAD-Negros, and the local government is a step toward our vision of a world where there is water security for our business, communities, and the environment where we operate, source ingredients, and touch people’s lives.”
“USAID is proud to be part of this initiative that advances the protection, conservation and rehabilitation of watersheds, including here in Bago City,” said USAID Philippines Mission Director Ryan Washburn. “Watersheds are critical for sustaining clean drinking water and livelihoods for the many families that depend on them.”
CCFPI President Cecile Alcantara; Coca-Cola Philippines Director for Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability Atty. Cashmer Dirampaten; USAID Philippines Mission Director Ryan Washburn; National Economic and Development Authority Undersecretary Roderick M. Planta; Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose V. Lacson; Negros Occidental Third District Rep. Francisco B. Benitez; Bago City Mayor Nicholas M. Yulo; and MUAD-Negros Executive Director Reynic S. Alo also led a symbolic tree-planting ceremony at the P4Water project site to mark the beginning of the watershed conservation initiative.
Ensuring water security for vulnerable sectors in the Philippines
In 2021, Water.org found that more than 3 million Filipinos did not have access to safe water, while improved sanitation was unavailable for 7 million people. In the same year, USAID listed the Philippines as among its top 21 high-priority countries for water and sanitation grants that will help build a more water-secure world amid the challenges posed by COVID-19.
To further address this ongoing issue of water insecurity in the country’s underserved communities, CCFPI launched several partnerships with nongovernmental organizations that also prioritize water access and watershed conservation.
The Foundation partnered with Kasilak Development Foundation and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-Philippines on March 16, 2022 to launch Agos – WASH Project for Sitio Alon and Barangay Darong, and Daloy: Reimagining Tigum-Aganan Watershed.
Two water systems will be installed at Sitio Alon and Barangay Darong in Davao del Sur province through the Foundation’s Agos – WASH Project in partnership with Kasilak. This will run for 18 months to ensure safe water access for underserved areas.
CCFPI recognized how access to water is a concern of small farmers, and how water is essential to their livelihood productivity. The Foundation also signed a memorandum of agreement with Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation Inc. for Agos – Water For Agriculture of Small GK Farmers project. The project aims to provide 30 farmers of a GK farm in Bulacan province with additional water for their vegetable and water farms, poultry and piggery farms, and fishponds through the installation of a water system.
Another initiative is Daloy, which is an 18-month program by WWF-Philippines that seeks to help ensure water security for the communities around the 602-square-meter Tigum-Aganan Watershed in Iloilo province, which supplies water in 13 municipalities. CCFPI released a grant to support the project and its adoption of a climate change lens in watershed management plans.
“For decades, we have been collaborating with organizations like USAID, MUAD-Negros, WWF, Kasilak, and Gawad Kalinga to ensure that safe water continues to flow even in the most far-flung communities,” said Cecile Alcantara, CCFPI President. “Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines will continue to engage in watershed conservation and water access efforts with our partners in the private and public sectors who likewise prioritize access to safe water. Together, we are able to reach more Filipinos and improve their quality of life by providing them with the most basic necessity–water.”
Coca-Cola empowering communities with 2030 Water Strategy
The Coca-Cola Company unveiled its 2030 Water Strategy in March 2021, with a focus on three priorities: reducing shared water challenges around the world, enhancing community water resilience with a focus on women and girls, and improving the health of priority watersheds.
“We will not waver in our commitment to helping provide clean water to vulnerable communities because we understand that water is essential in sustaining life and livelihoods,” Del Rosario said.
For more information on Coca-Cola’s water stewardship initiatives, visit https://www.coca-colacompany.com/sustainable-business/water-stewardship.