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What do heavy traffic, slow Internet and open defecation have in common?

We know that the Philippines is a developing country that faces many challenges. It presents opportunities and challenges at the same time to those that want to live here and maybe do business or invest in the economy.

Philippines Sanitation and water

How do you measure the Philippines economy. We can work of the various published financial data and projects but I believe there is a much better barometer of how the country is doing.

I have long thought of traffic and public transport as a barometer of the country in terms of its organisation and development. Look at a countries’ traffic and it’s a good indication of everything else.

More recently I have started to view the internet in a similar way. The speed and the reliability of internet services is also a good general indicator of how things work (or don’t work) in the country.

Now there is a new indicator being presented related to sanitation and access to clean water. Lets consider all three in relation to the Philippines.

Traffic – Manila has some of the worst traffic congestion in the world and Cebu is not far behind.

Internet – worst in Asia and among the worst in the world.

Sanitation and water – According to an article called Pinoys open defecation indicates lack of inclusive growth this is one of the major indicators that the Philippines is lagging behind in development.

No other report indicts our skewed progress more than this. No other data portrays the lack of inclusive growth than this one,” said Sen. Ralph Recto in his speech during the 37th annual convention of the Philippine Association of Water Districts (PAWD) here Thursday.”

In the report he stats that

“Some 7.1 million Filipinos resort to “open defecation” while 570,000 more use “unimproved sanitation facilities” like buckets and open-pit latrines.”

These figures do not include the millions of toilet facilities that are considered by definition to be “improved” but would be declared a health hazard by authorities in most of the countries we originate from.

“For drinking, 2.3 million Filipinos use untreated surface water of rivers, dams and canals. In addition, 6.1 million Filipinos source their drinking water from unimproved drinking water sources like unprotected dug wells and unprotected springs,”

When I was a Rotary President one of my projects was to cap open wells. I visited communities on Mactan island and found many using open wells. We capped more than a dozen wells and provided them with pumps. Mactan is part of Cebu city and considered a more developed area!

I have to agree that water and sanitation is another key indicator.

On all three accounts the Philippines is not doing very well.

See article here:

About the Author

I have been visiting the Philippines for the past 30 years and lived here full time for the past 10 years. I have travelled extensively around the Philippines and lived in many locations. I was married to a Filipina for over 20 years and been with my current girl friend for 8 years. I have also operated businesses in the Philippines including a Dance and Fitness Studio, Restaurant, Family karaoke and disco. My background is IT and my real interest is in online marketing and outsourcing and these are the areas I currently focus on. I have made heaps of mistakes along the way and I have always enjoyed helping others and passing on my experience so that they might avoid making many of the same mistakes. - Chris Bennetts
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