WORLD  BANK  APPROVES 64M  US DOLLAR  LOAN  FOR  RP  SEWER  SYSTEM 

MANILA, June 22, 2005
 (STAR) (AFP) - The World Bank said Tuesday it has approved a 64 million-US dollar soft loan to improve the abysmal sewerage system in the Philippines capital.

The loan would finance, among others, the setting up of sewage treatment plants, collection networks and purchase tankers for pumping-out septic tanks of individual homes in the eastern half of the city.

A World Bank statement said only 15 percent of the population of Manila, a sprawling metropolis of more than 10 million people, is connected to a sewerage system.

Of these, only half have access to a treatment facility. Around 85 percent have septic tanks, the majority of which were built without adequate leaching fields and are rarely maintained or desludged.

"Most residents rely on drains, many of which are open, to receive the effluent from their septic tank," it added.

World Bank country director Joachim von Amsberg said the project "will directly and indirectly benefit over three million Filipinos.

"It will not just help mitigate the environmental impacts of water pollution but also improve the lives of poor and disadvantaged Filipinos by ensuring improved access to sewerage and sanitation services, among others."

He said the project would reduce water-borne pollution in Manila and the adjacent Laguna Lake and Manila Bay.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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