The provincial government of Samar, along with municipal governments of Basey, Jiabong, and Paranas, signed a memorandum of agreement with microfinance institutions to make climate-resilient toilets affordable to poor families.
UNICEF Philippines is supporting this partnership as part of its commitment to help communities adapt to climate change through the use of smart subsidies and affordable financing.
According to the Department of Health (DOH) Field Health Services Information System 2022, in Samar province, 78.54% of households have access to basic sanitation facilities.
Having climate-resilient toilets that safely contain fecal matter can prevent contamination of groundwater and the environment especially during disasters. This in turn can reduce the incidence of water-borne diseases such as diarrhea, cholera and gastroenteritis that can lead to child malnutrition.
“We laud the province of Samar and the municipalities of Basey, Jiabong and Paranas for their commitment to invest in climate-resilient sanitation and we encourage other LGUs to do the same.”
“We laud the province of Samar and the municipalities of Basey, Jiabong and Paranas for their commitment to invest in climate-resilient sanitation and we encourage other LGUs to do the same. The climate crisis is a child rights crisis, and everyone has a role to play to protect the health and welfare of Filipino children by mitigating the risks posed by climate change,” said UNICEF Philippines Chief of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Carlos Vasquez.
“The climate crisis is a child rights crisis, and everyone has a role to play to protect the health and welfare of Filipino children.”
The blended financing with output-based aid (BF-OBA) approach is a results-based financing modality wherein beneficiaries take out a loan and are provided with subsidies after completing the installation of climate-resilient toilets. Around P7-million pesos worth of subsidy will be coming from the Province of Samar, Municipalities of Basey, Jiabong and Paranas and UNICEF.
“Our province, alongside our partners, invested in this financing initiative as one of the ways to ensure the health and safety of our constituents, especially during times of emergencies,” Governor Sharee Ann Tan said.
“Our province is highly vulnerable to experiencing adverse weather conditions, and having climate-resilient sanitation is one of the steps we’re taking to mitigate the risks and shocks associated with climate change,” Tan stressed.
Microfinance institutions operating in Samar — ASA Philippines, LifeBank Philippines and Negros Women for Tomorrow’s Foundation, would finance the total upfront cost for the 150 selected households.
Beneficiary households will later on assign the subsidy certificates to the microfinance institutions to pay off 85% of the total cost of building the toilets.
The remaining 15% of the toilet cost will be paid out by the households in 12 monthly installments to the microfinance institutions.
“Addressing the persistent threat of water-borne diseases remains one of the most formidable challenges during disasters. Hence, we welcome this breakthrough initiative and the steadfast commitment of the Province of Samar and its municipalities to channel resources into establishing climate-resilient sanitation solutions for vulnerable communities,” DOH Eastern Visayas Regional Director Exuperia Sabalberino noted.
“We firmly believe that this forward-looking strategy, which blends financing mechanisms, promotes financial inclusion and climate resilience and, most importantly, instills a sense of community ownership. This approach offers a promising path towards lasting impact, sustainability, and improving health and well-being for the people of Samar,” she concluded.